A Stand for Sensitivity
Give me a moment while I stand up for Sensitivity.
I feel she is misinterpreted and misunderstood.
She doesn't get the airtime she needs. And when she does, she is often criticized and unwanted.
We label ourselves or others as being 'too sensitive'. It is often addressed as a negative attribute. A sign of weakness. Prey.
I want to argue that we are all sensitive. Some of us are more internally affected by the circumstances around us. Some of us have been able to block her voice more than others.
Sensitivity offers many emotions and feelings. Contentment, joy, happiness. But she also offers the often undesired feelings of rage, jealousy, hurt, sadness.
Usually it is not the right time for her to show up. We might be dressed in fitted skirts and heels on a call with a client only two hours into the work day. Not a good time for a cry.
But she can't help it, it's her job to show us what she is noticing in the moment.
To cope in a world that appears to lack sensitivity, we try to cover her up. 'It doesn’t look like anyone else is feeling this way - there must be something wrong with me.'
And so we harden around feelings inside our bodies and mask them with a demeanour that suggests everything is ok.
As we continue to push away the bubbling emotions that keep trying to surface, we also begin to disconnect from what makes us genuinely happy. It is next to impossible to only feel and radiate the life-is-amazing-everything-is-great vibes that appear on our feeds.
Sensitivity is deep. If we disconnect from that depth within ourselves, we can lose our ground of what is true to us.
I have seen and definitely experienced continued suppressed emotions turn into a feeling of numbness to the world, depression, disordered eating, self hate, and low confidence. We develop a lack of direction and clarity in our future or path in life.
We are not supposed to cry when it is all our bodies want to do. We are not supposed to feel hurt when someone give 'constructive criticism'. We think that if we keep swallowing that lump in our throat, it'll go away. (Toughen up, dammit!)
So we fill the gap with ice cream and Netflix to distract and numb ourselves from it all a little more.
Sensitivity is powerful and useful. It offers us the power of knowing in our gut when something feels very right. Or very wrong. It reminds us of what we want for ourselves (jealousy) and when we need new perspective (fear). It lets us know when something is very in line with what we stand for or far from it. It shows us when someone truly has our back, or it offers that gentle nudge that they don't. It is always guiding us towards peace.
We are not taught the power of understanding our emotions and the importance of allowing them to flow. But coming back home into our sensitive selves allows us to live and create a life that is meaningful to us.
Here are three ways to deepen your sensitive intelligence.
This is absolutely essential in my books. I need a LOT of alone time. It allows time for my walls to come down, my feelings to settle, my mind to ease off a bit, and to come back to my own perspective. If we don’t take this time, we drag around all the experiences of our day or opinions of others without giving ourselves the time to either understand them or simply let them go.
Breathing is the best tool I have found in life. For anything. 92% of the time I forget to use it, but when I do it is a game changer. Our breath goes into our bodies and connects us to what is happening inside. When an emotion arises - wanted or unwanted - pause, breathe. Feel it. Let it pass. Reacting to emotions is different than responding to them. They don’t need the drama we often attach to them, they just need to be felt and let go.
Feelings get stored in our bodies, and if we don't move, they get stuck. Think of a stagnant pond. When there is no flow or stream they become very lifeless, dull, dead. Weird things start to grow on them, fish start to die, its really quite gross. Our bodies and our emotions are the same way. Without movement, they become stagnant, they weigh us down, they don’t have the ability to move through us. Movement connects us back to our bodies where sensitivity lives. It encourages the old to leave and brings new life and a new flow into our selves.