August 27, 2015

All Your Best Stuff Comes From This Place

I was an intense kid and I learned early on that it wasn't a 'cool' thing to be so I did my best to conceal it.

But everything stayed with me. I felt that I carried not only my own problems around with me but those of everyone else. The homeless man on the street. The elderly woman looking sad and confused in the grocery store. The family that lost everything in a house fire. I thought I was weird for obsessing over all these sad things all the time. But I needed to take my time with them and let the emotions flow through me. Same with joy. Just as I had a deep capacity to explore sadness and pain, I felt intense joy at what others considered to be small things.

Read On!>>>

I realized that I looked at life differently than other people. No matter where I was -- school, church, with friends and family -- there were always things I kept to myself to fit in and go with the flow. There were times when I wanted to take a stand and tell everyone to love each other and stop fighting. But I was insecure, so I never did. I stayed quiet and often conflicted about what to do with all this empathy.

Have you ever thought that maybe you are too sensitive and being this way is more of a curse than a blessing?

I have often wished to be more aloof and not feel so much. But I know now that my sensitivity is the core of who I am and all the best stuff I bring to this world comes from that place.

As a writer, I'm sensitive to meaning and tone, and it soothes me to channel my emotions into words. When I write about the things that hurt me, scare me, intimidate me, somehow magically they lose their power -- allowing me to see clearly again.

Whatever creative outlet you have, being sensitive enhances your work and allows you to connect with people on a deeper level.

But to utilize these gifts, you have to accept them and explore them. You can't leverage your emotions if you are afraid of them.

Don't wait for the world to validate who you are, how you feel and the gifts you have to offer.

Be gentle with yourself. Trust that your Maker made no mistakes.

There are challenges though.

Taking in too much stimulation can lead to overwhelm and anxiety. Doing what other people do with ease, can be difficult. For example, watching a horror movie can put images in our minds that we can't get out. Being forced to make a quick decision or go somewhere we don't want to go can be traumatic. Simply being in an argument or exposed to anger and conflict can be deeply disturbing.

So guess what? You're going to feel out of alignment with the rest of the world sometimes. There will be lots of people who look at you funny or roll their eyes when you set boundaries or dare to speak up for a more sensitive/idealistic point of view. But there will also be people who are awakened by your sincerity and expression. There will be people that are set free by your example.

Don't let being different scare you -- let it fuel you. Nurture your gifts and use them to add some much needed kindness and perspective to the world.

Put all of the criticism you've received for being sensitive out of your mind and consider the following:

Think of a time when someone went beyond the surface to be particularly kind or generous with you. How did their quiet powers impact you?

What do people ask you for help with? How does your sensitivity help you when working, writing, speaking or creating?

Make a list of all the positive aspects of being sensitive and how you can confidently use this gift to bring more love + creativity to the world.

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