As I grow older, I’ve made a decision that as part of my journey to become the best possible me, I need to start speaking up about my feelings. There’s a voice inside that needs to be heard, maybe if I share my story I’ll make others feel better too? Or maybe it’ll just act as my therapy?
The problem is, I’m a sensitive soul and for me, that one little offhand comment can manifest into something so much greater. It’s far too easy to say to someone ‘don’t take it to heart’ or ‘they didn’t mean it that way’ but for the sensitive soul, it’s too late.
You see, I think part of the problem is that quieter, less confident folk are often considered no real threat and an easy target for larger, more manipulative personalities. Yet have you ever noticed that these larger personalities often say how they see themselves out loud? Almost to create a stir of agreement and compliments rather than following a tactic I like to call, ‘quietly confident’.
“I’m afraid my voice is going to break. I am afraid she is going to hear how much this hurts.” Holly Black
It was always an aspiration of mine to be openly confident, in some situations, I can play this role and become, almost convincing. Inside is another story, I’m calculating my moves and comments, I’m making open body language my objective, aiming to be consistently engaging. I suppose we could call it ‘keeping up appearances’ and I whilst I don’t feel it’s a crime; I just wish it was more natural.
Nevertheless, we shouldn’t forget what a blessing it must be to feel 90% comfortable, content and self-assured. I would say 100% because I don’t think anyone could live up to that. But how would I know? I’ve never felt like that? Would I be happier, or would there always be another problem in the complicated journey we call life?
“Baby,” she says in a harsh whisper, “in this world, lots of people will try to grind you down. They need you to be small so they can be big.” Holly Black
Have you ever wanted to reply to a condescending comment with ‘did that feel good?’ I don’t think arguing is the answer, voices will break, silly comments will be made and the battle won’t always be won. At times, the strong will feel stronger and they’ll walk away with satisfaction, the opponent will feel small, worthless and frustrated. That’s why I choose my ‘open’ battles wisely, for some people are not worth the energy or breath.
What about my closed battles? The ones I have with myself, lying awake picking apart comments and allowing my head to spin with frustration, over a situation which has already passed. Or even a situation that I’ve created in my head; because in my opinion, sensitivity and creativity often go hand in hand. If only I could use that energy to create something more beautiful, less toxic and heal my wounds?
“To be sensitive is fine, but it makes day-to-day living—life—rather painful.” Marisha Pess
There are many things I feel grateful for. From waking up next to my love to being able to run to peanut butter and good chocolate truffles. A big part of what brings me joy is having an outlet to share my emotions. Often I find myself overwhelmed by the empathy and understanding that comes from people who feel the same. I’m fortunate to have a voice, with my voice I only want to share kindness and good grace, I hope people who I’ve made to feel uncomfortable understand it was never with intent. It could simply be that the same applies to those who have done the same with me, perhaps it all comes full circle?
“Learning to thrive as a highly sensitive soul presents challenges. If you’re sensitive, you have likely accumulated years of training in trying to overcome the trait because you don’t ‘fit in’ with society. And yet being highly sensitive is a vital part of you. A first step toward thriving as a sensitive soul is to understand and accept your trait. Hear this now: There is absolutely nothing wrong with you. You are just different. As one of my clients says, being highly sensitive is both a gift and a responsibility.” Jenna Avery
Deep down I know I need to take responsibility for my high levels of sensitivity and sometimes we as people need to think harder about our actions and our words. Would I speak to another the way I speak to myself? Would I manifest these worries, concerns, and punctures in the self-esteem of another? No. Then, I cannot help but wonder why I do this to myself?
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