Taking a Look at Sensitivity

I grew up in a family with little tolerance for my range of emotions. Not because they don’t love me. More like they do love me and usually want to fix or solve my “problems” rather than just holding space for me to feel (we weren’t really taught that one in school).

When I was bouncing off the walls with joy, I was too much.

When my blood boiled, I needed to calm down.

When pain and tears overwhelmed me: “You are soooo sensitive.”

And that’s exactly it. I am sensitive. I am very sensitive.

My emotions take off in all directions, and I understand that sometimes it just seems safer to shut them down; make them go away.

But what happens when you spend your entire life pretending that your emotions are not okay?

I became a very confused person. I didn’t trust my feelings.

I listened to the voices around me instead of checking in with myself.

I started labeling myself in the same ways: “too much,” “too sensitive.”

My parents’ voices became my own. “Just calm down. Relax!”

Trying to suppress and ignore my emotions made me feel crazy. Anxious. Completely disconnected from myself.

The disconnection created an ugly cycle. I started turning outward for answers and validation. I began taking others’ opinions as the truth. I forgot that I have my own truth.

As I felt lonely, cut off, and unheard, I naturally began to blame others. I became angry. “They just don’t get me; they don’t care!”

Honestly? I wasn’t caring for myself.

The loneliness? I was longing for myself and all the pieces I’d cut off.

It was time to come home and hear myself out.

What I have learned is that my level of emotional intensity is not for everybody. In America, we are told to toughen up and get serious. There is not much room for the vast emotional spectrum of which we are capable.

I have to be okay with getting myself. Accepting myself. Embracing all of my emotions. Deciding that my emotions are real to me and that’s all that really matters.

I am learning to make space for my emotions. To be gentler with myself. To turn within when I need support and listen.

As I come to validate my own feelings, I am not tossed about as easily by others’ advice. I don’t need others to say the “right” thing. I don’t set myself up for disappointment when their words don’t align with my feelings.

When I stop depending on others to “fix it,” I can simply ask for a hug. I can be in their company without needing to find the answers. I have my own answers now.

As I make space for all of me, I see that my sensitivity has so much to offer. Passion, depth, emotion, energy, insight- the stuff from which creativity is born!

And so I continue on this journey to align with my emotions and love them all completely. 

My sensitivity is safe here. Safe to talk. Safe to breathe. Safe to be. My emotions have a friend in me.


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