Throughout my life I have always been a sensitive person. I care a lot, I feel intensely and more often times than not, I am on the verge of tears. In fact, I am so sensitive that even my skin is considered "sensitive." I wear sensitive-skin makeup, use sensitive laundry soap, lather myself with sensitive-skin lotions... the list goes on.
The sensitivity is real.
And as much as I know that my sensitive response to life and my skin is probably mere coincidence, the reality is that the label of being "sensitive" has stuck with me like hot glue and has been a heavy burden.
Let's be real, "being sensitive" comes with a lot of scrutiny and can be shameful.
We often hear, "You're too in your feelings," "Quit being a cry baby," or "Stop being emotional."
And why? Well society believes you you need to always be "put together." You can't be "weak." Vulnerability and/or "weakness" makes people feel uncomfortable.
Which creates a lot of people pretending, hiding, numbing, and isolating their feelings, including myself sometimes.
However I learned that when we embrace our sensitive soul being "weak" becomes a great source of strength.
So how do we embrace our sensitive souls and allow it to be a source of strength?
- First, we need to courageously allow whatever emotion to come and examine the meaning. Our emotions are our friends. They communicate important messages to us. So if you're like me and crying all the time, what does the emotion stem from? What may your tears be communicating? When we allow our emotions to come and understand the meaning, our emotions gift us with deeper insight and self-knowledge. It's denying our emotions and pushing them away that's cowardly.
- Second, we need to stay close to others and communicate often. It's so important to rely on the people in our lives and share our feelings. When you're a sensitive person it's easy to bury all our feelings inside out of fear that people won't understand but the truth is, sharing our feelings with others actually helps us grow, develop new insights and it strengthens our relationships with others (the more vulnerability, the more authentic our relationships will be).
- Lastly, we need to acknowledge that feelings remind us we are alive even the most painful feelings. It is a gift that we are not numb, unable to experience the variety of emotions. It is a gift we are not zombies, just going through life as if we are already dead. It is a gift we are not living like warriors, always on guard and always ready to fight off emotion. In other words, we may feel intensely but the feelings make us in touch with our authentic humanity.
Therefore, having a sensitive soul doesn't have to be a heavy burden. Once you see it as a gift, it can help you become an even wiser, more connected and stronger person.
So cry. Get upset. Feel sad. Listen to a heartfelt song. Tell someone you're not okay and remember you are alive!
Consider these questions to venture deeper into your own experience:
Grab a pen + journal for even greater self-reflection
1. Do you consider yourself a sensitive person? A stubborn person? A strong person? A weak person? Whatever you identify with, how does it affect the way you live your life and see yourself?
2. How can you allow yourself to feel more? What holds you back from fully expressing yourself? How can feeling more, help you live a more authentic life?
3. What are some things you can do to be more in touch with your own experience?