Don’t Be So Sensitive

            Have you ever heard those words?  I have, a million times, and I tried to accede to them for decades.  I thought my sensitivity was preventing me from fitting in and I wanted to be “normal.” 

            I couldn’t do it, no matter how much I tried.  When I pretended to be what I thought was acceptable, I looked foolish.  I knew that I couldn’t let myself be known for who I really was so I had to develop diversionary techniques.  I learned to listen and ask questions and keep the spotlight off me.  The ersatz relationships which evolved weren’t satisfying but I thought that at some point I would feel safe enough to open up.  Not so. 

            I spent a lot of time alone.  I worked very hard on myself to correct some deep error that had been made in my creation.  I thought with enough effort I could earn entry into The Group but the more I meditated, journaled, and experienced my feelings the less I could share with most folks and the harder it became to find any meaningful common ground.   I had effectively dug myself into a (w)hole.  And since I couldn’t escape myself, I learned attention and presence and how to listen to the still, small voice within.  I acknowledge that this was my default position which I embraced only after nothing else offered respite from the pain of being human and lonely.

             Now in mid-life I am grateful that I didn’t receive what I thought I wanted.  If I had fit in, I would have lost myself.  All those hours alone taught me to look at how I had learned to hate myself, taking my cues from others who hated their vulnerability.  I wanted to be liked by people who didn’t like themselves.  They taught me to look OK and always to say “Fine” when asked how I was and that pretending would suffice. 

            But since I’m not normal, I couldn’t do it.  I didn’t feel OK and I didn’t want to say “Fine” and I couldn’t pretend.  I was too sensitive.  And after all those years alone with my sensitivity, I learned to love it!  I can meditate now and reach a peace and wisdom that can’t be given precisely because of my sensitivity.  I can feel another person’s pain and know what it’s like to be her and in that way heal us both.  Only because of my sensitivity.   I can hear with my heart, not just with my head, and experience Life, not just talk about it.  Again, due to my sensitivity which I realize is one of my finest qualities. 

            I have worked hard to hone my sensitivity, to know it, and now to trust it.  It’s what makes sense of Life.  Because of my sensitivity I can appreciate how what the stranger said to me reveals my own buried feelings.  I’ve learned to notice the outside reflecting the inside.  It’s my sensitivity that lets me see patterns in my interactions and then to understand that Life is opening a new window to knowing myself at a deeper level.  Sensitivity allows me to form a partnership with Life and to know that I’m not alone on a profound level.  And that makes everything worthwhile.

            I’m glad I’m too sensitive!       




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