I’m a very sensitive person. At various stages in my life, this has caused me more difficulty than good and I’ve always seen it as a curse. When other kids would tease me, it would bother me more than most and, of course, this only made me a more desirable target. When those I love experience hurt, I feel their pain and suffer with them. When there’s awkwardness or tension in a room, I can sense it even when others are oblivious. To this day, I take things to heart when perhaps it would be easier to just let it go and let it flow.
That is how I was made and I’ve spent a good part of my life resisting who I truly I am because I long ago decided that being “too sensitive” was a burden rather than a blessing. I have become an expert at rationalizing, analyzing and transforming my way out of having to feel a lot of the stuff that I mentally label as unpleasant – sadness, sorrow, anger, heartache and even love. Sometimes, these emotions feel like too much to handle and so, at some point, I unconsciously made a deal with myself not to feel that stuff anymore. Rather than leading with my heart and soul, I’ve been leading with my mind.
All of this hit me like a ton of bricks when a dear friend of mine unexpectedly passed away recently. I could sense great sadness and sorrow deep down in me but, every time these emotions began to surface, there was something stopping them from being fully expressed. In certain instances, I felt numb and disconnected to the reality of the situation. For the first time in my life, I really wanted to feel my so-called unpleasant emotions, but couldn’t fully experience them because of the protective wall I had built to compensate for my sensitivity. I decided then and there that I would rather feel all of it rather than none of it.
Since then, I have been cultivating a new awareness and noting when I am leading with thoughts or leading with my heart. Am I thinking or am I feeling? Am I truly present or am I in my head? As I’ve gotten better at knowing the difference, I’ve been going inward and asking myself how and what I’m feeling. What’s most amazing to me is that I’m actually appreciating the full range of emotions as I allow myself to fully experience whatever it is without judgment, without labeling good or bad. I am so thankful for this lesson and the new beginning that it has brought. It has brought a renewed sense of aliveness and an intense connection to people, music, nature and life.
At the core of this revelation is an undeniable truth: my sensitivity is one of my greatest gifts. It is a magnificent internal guidance system that instantly lets me know if I’m in alignment with my truth and my purpose. It allows me to feel what others are feeling, to empathize and genuinely connect with them. It allows me to give and receive big love, to live passionately and to draw on all of it when I create and express.
My curse turned out to be a great a blessing and now I’m finally cluing in. The more I embrace all of my little quirks and idiosyncrasies, the clearer it becomes that I was born this way for a reason. The more I accept myself just as I am, the more I realize that I have exactly the right characteristics to fulfill my purpose and realize my dreams.
So what about you? What part of yourself have you been resisting? Is it possible that the very thing you like least about yourself is one of your greatest gifts? Could your burden be a blessing?
Let me know!
Written for The Daily Love (May 5th, 2012)