On being Sensitive

Recently I was described as ‘sensitive.’ Ick.

I was skeptical. Taken back. When I think of being sensitive, I think of being meek, shy, easily trampled. I don’t want to be that! I wanted her to say I’m sarcastic and engaging and energetic and loving. I couldn’t get it out of my head. So I did what my generation does, I looked up the definition in an Encyclopedia. Ok, I googled it.  The internet taught me sensitivity is:

  • having acute mental or emotional sensibility; aware of and responsive to the attitudes, feelings, or circumstance of others,
  • displaying a quick and delicate appreciation of others’ feelings, 
  • One held to be endowed with psychic or occult powers.”

Can I say yes! I always knew I was psychic! But the important part, being aware of other’s feelings, noticing changes, that’s what I do on a daily basis at work. I meet people once and formulate a description of their life in a 90 minute nutshell. The important stuff is the hardest to talk about, but it comes up and I have to be sensitive to the conversation.

I love to make jokes about my feelings wheel, but it’s the real deal. I can identify my own feelings, triggers, and anxieties fairly easy. Well, recognize. I’m still learning how to recognize and not react…reacting is easy. Storytelling, being dramatic, making jokes is easy. Sitting with the truth, emotions, and the tough stuff I’d rather run away from is a lot harder. Brené has taught me a lot about how I live my life, but the most important is to live and love with my whole heart. To be a whole hearted warrior, a dear friend once described, is to fall down and be brave enough to stand back up. I know when I’m sad, I’m downright sad. The best part though, is to be happy and feel truly, 100%, off the wall happy. And experiencing all the emotions that show up in-between and upside down. Knowing that happiness isn’t forever, but knowing it will return again and again in the future. I’ll take that sensitivity.

“Those who do no know how to weep with their whole heart don’t know how to laugh either.”