You have two ways to view the world, you choose which one


I open the front door. And follow my dog outside. The leash is already tight and Bob is pulling me along. The soil of the front garden is covered in brown, yellow, and orange leaves that have fallen from the large tree on the side of the road...

An overwhelmingly beautiful world

Photo by Karen Lau on Unsplash

I open the front door. And follow my dog outside. The leash is already tight and Bob is pulling me along. The soil of the front garden is covered in brown, yellow, and orange leaves that have fallen from the large tree on the side of the road. I notice a little spider on the side of a little green bush trying to entangle a fly into its web. Another dog owner is walking his dog on the other side of the street. The seems relaxed. The man seems tensed. Checking his phone. Typing away with one hand. His back bent over. He looks up from his phone and quickly scans his surrounding. His eyes seem to have not seen rest in a while. He checks back onto his phone that is now ringing. He picks it up and answers. The dog rushes into the grass when he sees my dog and the man has pulled along. But in an instant, the man shouts out loud. “You stupid dog!” And pulls the dog back with the leash. A reaction not based on the dog’s behavior, but out of the emotional state the man was already in. The flowers in my front yard seem to have died from the cold in winter and there is weed popping up in between the floor tiles.

They walk on and I am dazzled by everything I’ve already seen in just a few seconds. There is a different car in the parking place in front of our home. I close the door behind me and notice that the key I usually put in one of my pockets isn’t there. I feel my phone, my wallet, my earphones but nothing else. I quickly reach into all the pockets and find the key in a place I would normally not place it. But it is there. I now dare to close the door, not afraid to shut myself out. I turn around and at that moment I see a new plant in the neighbor’s garden, along with some tools for planting it. It’s a lush orange color and seems to be growing tremendously in this kind of weather. “It’s quite lovely.” I think to myself. I walk away through the small front yard and see in the corner of my eye that my neighbor is standing infant of the window. The neighbor waves at me from behind the window and I wave at her. She smiles and seems to be quite happy. A gentle twinkle is noticeable in her eye and she looks away again. Her smile feels genuine, there are wrinkles around her eyes and it doesn’t quickly disappear from her face. It soothes me to see someone smile. Bob is hyperactive, constantly pulling the leash and looking around. Quickly scanning what is in front of him, behind him, left and right. A person is walking up to him he sees it. If there is a dog on the other side of the road he sees it. He notices everything, he is hyper-focused.

I grab my earphones from the left side of my jean and plug them in. I turn up the volume and a low rumbling voice muffles all otherworldly sounds. The tires of cars on the big road muffle and all I hear is this voice. The voice of Neill Gaiman sharing a story. The rustling of the leaves, the barking of dogs, people talking, birds chirping, footsteps on the pavement, the clinging of metal poles for a platform, the whistle of a man cleaning his windows they all disappear. Leaving me with nothing but my thoughts and a story of Thor, the Norse God. My focus is narrowed down. To what’s in front of me. I see Bob, wiggling his put as he gently walks along the grass. I see him sniff every one of the trees alongside the road. Pee on every plant there is and stand still for every dog that passes us. Whether they are on the same path as us or the other side of the road. He is just as hyper-focused as I am. Noticing every detail. Getting overwhelmed by a beautiful world.

I see that the grass has been cut, and smell its earthy and penetrating smell as rain poured over it all morning long. The wind picks up its smell and leads it towards me. It reminds me of playing outside with friends. Going into the forest just after the rain has passed. Hearing the leaves crunch underneath my tiny feet. See my friend climb into a tree. Just a small insignificant smell to someone else sparks the slightest of memories in my head. And I, I am both listening to those memories, my feelings, the world around me, and the stories I hear playing through my headphones.


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An encounter

There is another man, muscular, with big arms, a wide chest, and a rough unshaven beard on his face. It is not his look but his posture and facial expression that gives away that he doesn’t want to be disturbed. His forehead has frowned, eyes are flashing with irritation, his eyelids are slightly pierced. But our dogs are too eager to greet one other. I let Bob sniff the other dog and the man looks at me. He looks annoyed. I didn’t want to disturb him. So I try to be kind to him. “Beautiful dog,” I say with a smile on my face. It’s a slightly nervous one as I feel the man isn’t interested in talking nor me trying to be kind. “Thanks.” The man says in a low voice, indicating that he doesn’t want to speak anymore. He wishes me a good day, with a dishonest smile on his face. Far before he turned his head around the smile had already disappeared indicating that it wasn’t an honest smile at all. “Good day!” I say to the man, a bit fearful and insecure.

“Would the man now hate me? Would I have done something wrong? Maybe I should have just continued on my walk and leave them alone?” Another ten of these kinds of thoughts crosses my mind as I continue on my walk. I wonder if I did the right thing. I replay the moment in my mind over and over again. “Could I have done anything differently?” “Thor smashes his hammer on the giant’s head.” And my attention is pulled back to the stories of Neill Gaiman. I smile at myself and wonder why people are so quickly frustrated. “Maybe it’s just me that notices all the incremental changes. Maybe it’s just me trying to cheer these people up. Others don’t seem to have these kinds of problems. But I do, I notice the slightest of details, hear the slightest of sounds. Smells remind me of memories and colors remind me of emotions. I notice every small detail on a person’s face when they speak or when their emotions change. I wonder if it is just me.” I continue my walk and see how beautiful the world is. A small flower barely popping through the slightest crack in the pavement makes my day. A little farther down the road, I see a perfect acorn on the ground. Its cap still on there and it has this perfect brown color, gradually transforming into a green tint. I smell the scent of petrol and diesel which reminds me of summer vacations, going on long car trips to countries like Norway, France or Italy. And I wonder why the world is so overwhelmingly beautiful to me.

A snap at the lunch table

I get home after my walk with Bob and sat down at the lunch table. The world outside has overloaded my mind and I don’t hear what anyone is saying. The TV is on with the news that is flashing by. New information every minute and bold titles grabbing my attention. There is so much going on that I can’t seem to focus on what truly matters. I miss out on the conversations, the questions asked, and then my sister drops a knife. The sound is dazzling and penetrating. “AHHH” I shout out in annoyance. “Why did you drop that?” I say to her. “It just fell out of my hand, calm down please.” She replied to me. “Can’t you just hold on to it?” I asked her. Which is a stupid question to ask. “I didn’t do it on purpose.” She said with anger in her voice. “Now calm down you both” my mother interrupts us. We all continue to eat our food and focus on the TV. Slowly but surely my mind starts to slow down again. My body is less overwhelmed by all the stimulations.

It’s a weird experience to get so mad in just a matter of seconds by such a simple thing as dropping a knife. But I do get mad because of this at times and I’ll explain to you why.


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An overwhelmingly beautiful world

In just minutes the world can be overwhelming to me. Overwhelming me with new details, information, emotions, and so many more things. This is kinda the struggle of a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) the world is a beautiful place but can be overwhelmingly beautiful at the same time. I notice details and the slightest of changes easily. It can massively change the way I feel if even the slightest of things change. At the same time, it makes me notice the most beautiful things in the world. It makes me feel in touch with myself, nature, and the people around me. I have found myself helping others in ways they needed to, not because I know what to say but because I could easily feel what they were feeling. At first, this was overwhelming to me. I still get overwhelmed by anger, arguments, and pessimistic people. It just shuts down my system. And I tried to describe this to you as vividly as possible. Yet I quickly learned that this was a strength. Helping me see the beauty this world has to offer.

I’ve noticed that you can look at the world from two different perspectives.

  1. Overwhelming, like it is all to much all the time
  2. Beautiful, like it is all one big play garden of amazing things you experience deeply.

You see I choose to look at the world in beauty, not in overwhelm. Although yes at times I get overwhelmed like any other human being I now don’t see the world as overwhelming anymore. I can cry when watching a movie when no one else is watching. I can cry at motivational speeches of people wanting to unite us as a humanity. I can feel these things deeply and they drive me to beauty. They drive me to build a world in which we all experience the beauty of living. My tool for that is writing for in it I can express every little detail I see with my eyes, every scent I smell with my nose, every touch I feel with my body, every sound I hear with my ears and every flavor I taste with my mouth. This heightened sense of conscious living has made me who I am. It is something to be proud of. Something to see as beautiful. It has helped me feel and be empathetic to friends and family.

The world is overwhelmingly beautiful. It can startle us and make us tensed or anxious. But that is only if we don’t want all of the beauty of living to enter our system. A flower doesn’t say “stop, stop, stop!” When it’s raining cats and dogs, it much rather takes it as it is and flourishes in that amount of rain. We can choose to look at the world in the same light. As an overwhelmingly but beautiful world and it will bring joy to our lives.

Because remember? Today You Live!

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