By Shawn McAndrew
Most of my childhood I was told I was “too sensitive.” What did those comments even mean? Because I felt things? Because I expressed myself? Whatever people meant by saying I was too sensitive, it was enough to make me stuff my feelings. But it didn’t make my sensitivity go away.
Feeling Sensitive Is a Blessing
I interpreted the comments as criticisms and ways to restrict my behavior, whether they were meant that way or not. They were hurtful and caused me much anguish. But being sensitive is a blessing, I know now.
On this side of life (meaning, I’m a lot older!), I get to think about those comments. I get to do some Cycle of Transformation work to release how they affected me and how I have reacted as an adult through patterns and negative behaviors. The more I understand what it means to be sensitive, the more I can appreciate and own this part of me.
Turn Up the Volume
Being sensitive brings empathy and compassion to the surface. I feel what’s happening around me more acutely. That can be hard sometimes, but it is also like turning up the volume on life. As I write this blog a song is playing in the background, Sensitive Kind by J. J. Cale. I’ve never heard this song before, and I have to chuckle at the synchronicity of it:
Don’t take her for granted, she has a hard time
Don’t misunderstand her or play with her mind
Treat her so gently, it will pay you in time
You’ve got to know she’s the sensitive kind…
Feeling sensitive should be celebrated and honored. When we tap into our feelings, we have the opportunity to connect and open to the world around us. This allows us to acknowledge what is happening beneath the surface and shift as needed. We can accommodate what we’re thinking, doing, and feeling from a healthy, aware place.
Thankful for Feeling Sensitive
By releasing the pain and anguish of childhood interpretations of those around us, we can feel more purely from our spirits. When someone tells me I’m too sensitive now, I am thankful that I feel. I am alive and being in the moment. I don’t have to stay stuck in the past, nor do I have to take on the other person’s meaning of “too sensitive.”
As we continue to emerge from our cocoons that we’ve lived in for the past year, let’s be gentle with ourselves and remember that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. Let’s live life to the fullest and be as sensitive as we want to be.