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The Beauty of Shamelessness and Wintry Dutch Sand Dunes

It’s pouring rain here in Australia. I’ve got a candle burning cheerily as I sip rum-flavored coffee and stay nice and dry inside after a wild morning of chasing escaped goats and scolding naughty dogs and moving marooned baby ducklings up onto dry ground. Phew! I am SO happy it’s the weekend.

And so happy for these golden pictures of the sand dunes outside Amsterdam.

I’ve been thinking a lot about shame this week. Not the healthy shame that comes when we’ve behaved badly and hurt someone, but the false shame about things we have no reason to feel ashamed about.

I didn’t realize the extent to which this sort of awful shame had wormed its way into my psyche until I experienced an exquisite disintegration of it this week. This disintegration didn’t come because I was suddenly extra strong or feisty and told it to bugger off. It was simply a natural response to one thing: understanding.

“Understanding is the first step to acceptance,
and only with acceptance can there be recovery.”
J.K. Rowling

For as long as I can remember I’ve been teased, mocked, belittled, and dismissed as “too sensitive” by various people in my life. Because I craved their love and acceptance, I believed their assessment of me.

I became ashamed of my sensitive nature, cursing my quickness to tear up, wishing with all my heart that I didn’t feel things so deeply. I stopped trusting my own judgment, I suppressed my natural feelings and reactions and replaced them with outward displays of “acceptable reactions”, waiting until I got by myself to pour out my real feelings in my journal. I tried to man up and develop a thicker skin so I wouldn’t be so annoying to those people in my life. I tried to not be me, and my world got smaller and darker and terribly lonely.

It is an awful thing to be ashamed of who you are.

Then this week I discovered this website: www.hsperson.com It talks about something called HSP – the Highly Sensitive Person. From the first few sentences I was hooked, my hand over my mouth as I read page after page of descriptions of ME.

Then I cried. Hard. And my teary self looked up at Bear and blurted, “Babe, there’s nothing wrong with me!” It still staggers me.

“To be fully seen by somebody, then,
and be loved anyhow –
this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.”
Elizabeth Gilbert

I can’t describe the healing that has taken place in my spirit since then. To be able to think back to those people who utterly crushed me with their assertions that I was broken somehow and needed to be fixed, that I was something that needed to be hidden, suppressed, or explained away with knowing glances that reduced me to something that was tolerated but never respected.

I say to them all: I don’t believe you any more. I am just fine the way I am.


I’ve been basking in the glow of this all week. After a lifetime of being ashamed of myself, I am at peace now. I am happy with my funny ol’ self.

I’m OK with not watching sports because I feel so bad for the losing team that the tension tears me up inside.
I’m OK with turning off violent movies because they make me so stressed I can’t bear it and want to drop everything and go rescue everybody.
And I’m OK with living a quiet life because a frantic one makes my brain frizzle.

I’m filled with gratitude today for understanding, for self-acceptance, and for the delicious beauty of shamelessness.

“Those who love you are not fooled by mistakes you have made
or dark images you hold about yourself.
They remember your beauty when you feel ugly;
your wholeness when you are broken;
your innocence when you feel guilty;
and your purpose when you are confused.”
Alan Cohen

I love that kind of love.

Wishing you a beautiful weekend with your dear old self and people who love you just the way you are. xo




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Natalie Lorence - Krista, I absolutely love this!! And love you! x

budgetjan - I am so glad you have come to this realization Krista. You are going to love your life, AND yourself from now on. Congratulations.

thefisherlady - got me all choked up here Krista… but tender hearts ‘are’ good… and you are beautiful~ Psalm 139:13,14

Jackie Robertson - We need the artists, writers, dreamers and artisans in this world, they fill all around with light and beauty. Bless your high sensitivity, cause I love it in a jaded, often ugly world. xx

Amy @ Seven Grey Sweaters - How wonderful! This post needs a “love” button. 🙂

(And thanks for the tip on that website; very interesting!)

bellini - I am so happy for you Krista to be able to embrace who you are.

Cathy - This is a really special post Krista. Well done for reaching this point and accepting who you really are. Some of us (me included) find it so difficult to do that 🙂 Sending you a virtual hug xx

Joanne (eats well with others) - I know those feelings of shame, but I love the positive attitude by which you are trying to approach it! We should all strive for that!

Hogga - mmmm rum flavored coffee

Mozzie - Amen and me too.

mlleparadis - Jackie says it for me. We need more people who aren’t ashamed of their own sensitivity. Beautiful pics as always, specially that first one. Have a good wkend and now I get why you want a kitten!

Breanne Mosher - Darling Krista, this makes me SO happy. You are the best you and all those tender bits are beautiful. I loved the you-ness that you’ve been writing about of late. And I’m going to have to check out that website, will write soon! XO

Neil Larsen - I new that about you – all that about you………….the day we met on a plane………..talked for 2 hours straight…………… departed,and have never seen each other again………………………..But I know exactly what you are saying Krista. The sensitivity that you speak of IS whats missing in this world. It is a rare thing, hold onto it, cherrish it, nurture it, and it will rub-off onto others
p.s. – Im going to that web site right now. thank you once again…….Neil

Krista - You made me smile so big this morning, @3367f1de837473684018619a6aba831b:disqus 🙂 I love hearing from you and am SO glad we met that day on the plane. You gave me such hope and courage. Big hug to you!

Krista - I’m so glad, dearest @facebook-100001665607063:disqus 🙂 My heart is pretty darn happy too. XO Can’t wait to get your letter!!

Krista - Yes! I suppose this does explain it, eh, @9d73767d10227efff04c7307e331304c:disqus ? 🙂 They’re lovely things. 🙂

Krista - Yeah, it pretty much is the ideal comfort drink, @disqus_6ZsWz7b0Pw:disqus 🙂

Krista - Massive hugs to you, dear sis @37854c7777b9b21d0ae36d3aa8184779:disqus XO

Krista - Aren’t those feelings the worst, @joanneeatswellwithothers:disqus ? They break you right down. I’m so glad we can cheer each other on in this life. 🙂 XO

Krista - Dearest @wanderingsheila:disqus , it’s a struggle for me too, but this week was a huge breakthrough. 🙂 Thank you SO much for the hug. You made my day. 🙂 XO

Krista - Thank you so very much, dear @jackierobertson:disqus XO Your support and friendship mean so much to me. 🙂

Krista - Thank you so much for cheering with me, @SevenGreySweaters:disqus 🙂 That means a great deal. 🙂 XO

Krista - Thank you so much, dear @d58b26e263bfdbd99d844b965c5cbbfb:disqus XO It feels so very good. 🙂

Krista - They ARE good, dear @62001814d9d7e41ffc94251e56fa448f:disqus XO Thank you so much for your love and kindness.

Krista - Thank you, dear @budgetjan:disqus 🙂 It’s a huge breakthrough for me and I’m so grateful for it. 🙂 XO

Krista - Thank you SO much, dearest @fa0668194607248f18ca39553302bbcb:disqus XO You are such an inspiration to me of self-acceptance and self-awareness. I love you too XO

Shantelle Watt - YOU ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Krista - Aww, Shantelle, I love you to pieces. XO

TuulaR - Cheers to being a sensitive person Krista… we need more like you! Wishing you a beautiful weekend… even if it sounds like you’re getting just a tad wet 🙂

Andrea and John - Dont’ ever change for anyone Krista – you’re perfect the way you are

Charu Suri - Being sensitive is a gift…I’m so glad you realized how valuable that is!

katyabroad - Lovely post 🙂 Have you read a book called ‘Quiet’? It’s wonderful. It’s about introverts and highly sensitive people – it highlights their value in the world. Although I am not an introvert (I’m actually balanced between introversion and extroversion) I do have some high-sensitive traits and I identified with a lot of the things in the book. You might find it helpful, but even if not, it is a very interesting read.

Krista - Thank you, @twitter-15386532:disqus XO I’m realizing that now, and it’s changing my world. 🙂

Krista - Thank you so much for the recommendation, @katyabroad:disqus I’ve not read it, but will look for it right now. 🙂 Thank you, luv! XO

Krista - Oh Andrea, you make me cry. 🙂 Thank you. XOXO

Krista - Thank you, dear @TuulaR:disqus XO Yes, it POURED this weekend, but today (hooray!) we have sunshine. 🙂 XO

Velva- Tomatoes on the Vine - Cheers to you Krista!

Hila - Ah yes, the ‘too sensitive’ tag – I get that a lot too. It’s crap. There isn’t one way to be in the world, and I’m suspicious of people who suggest to me that I should neatly line up my emotions, reactions and feelings with their own. We’re not clones after all. From one sensitive being to another 🙂

Kitchen Butterfly - This is me. Totally me. And I am pleased Krista, that you loved us all to share you, and us and the website. I love being an HSP! Because I love me, more and more each day!

Jamie - There are so many of us just like you! And there is comfort in numbers. You are just fine, darling Krista, just fine. Thank you for sharing this and making us all feel a little better. You deserve the lovely, calm life that you are building with Bear in your Paradise!

El - Lovely photos, as always. Life is a bit like a good BBC drama. When a season is done, the best British actors leave the drama behind to pursue better roles and opportunities. You played a role in the past. Okay, maybe you starred in a mini-series but the season has definitely ended ;>) The old cast of characters is gone. The funding that kept it going has been pulled. It’s a new day. You get to direct the show, choose the characters and develop the plot. You’re in charge. You can act however you want to act.

Ordinary Traveler - I feel like I’m a little too sensitive as well. I think I need to take a peek at that site. 🙂

Ulysses S. Rant - Sand dunes in Amsterdam…definitely not what one would expect! I like the Cohen quote, BTW.

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