• Valentina Poletti

Harshness - the shadow of Georgia

During my stay in Georgia I learned many things. One of the main shadow frequencies of Georgia that mirrored mine is harshness.

Harshness is the repression of sensitivity. It is the practice of bulldozing over the feelings, needs, vulnerabilities of another for the sake of self interests. Harshness can be practiced onto aspects of oneself or onto other people, things, circumstances. It is typical of cultures that repress, disown and shame sensitivity and vulnerability.

Harshness is a collective shadow of many cultures around the Soviet Union, as well as Russia itself. It is the reason why babies are trained with brutal practices to make them ‘tough’, ‘strong’, and ‘unsensitive’, and it is the reason why violence towards the feminine - such as women and gay people - and the vulnerable - such as the handicapped and the old - is tolerated.

Harshness feels brutal to sensitive people, and it is the contrast of softness. I myself am an extremely highly sensitive person, yet I grew up in a very harsh environment where there was little place for my sensitivity. As a result I suffered immensely growing up, as my vulnerabilities were constantly bulldozed and hurt. I learned therefore to bulldoze my own sensitivity, and to be harsh to myself in order to ‘fit in’.

For instance: in spite of the fact that I get exhausted by exposing myself to loud, bright places full of lights and noises, I forced myself to withstand such places. In spite of the fact that I get easily sick by eating heavy foods, or going into vehicles, I forced myself to eat them and to go into them. In spite of the fact that harsh behaviours, such as verbal, physical and psychological violence are extremely destructive for me, I forced myself to tolerate them. I learned to violate my mental, physical, sexual and emotional boundaries constantly.

I suppressed my sensitivities, which make me extremely keen and aware of subtleties that most people don’t perceive. This has come at a huge cost for me, and as I result I have become my own enemy and I have become inauthentic.

During my healing and evolutionary journey of my last decades, I slowly reowned aspects of my sensitivity. I started to respect my particular vulnerabilities and needs more. Yet to some degree I still suppressed it in order to fit into the world.

In Georgia I became extremely aware of this suppression, because it is so common here. Harshness is very common and encouraged in this culture. I became aware of how I still tolerate environments, people, things that are too harsh for me and that do not honour my sensitivity.

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