I remember when I was younger how feeling a lot was a lot for me to bear. I was moved to the point of tears often. Disappointment shattered my heart, and oh boy, when I loved, I’d paint the whole world in soft-bright colors. The world’s suffering made me sick to my stomach and paralyzed me. The emotional pain really hurt, and yet the love that surrounded me and the beauty of life took me to cloud nine. I was truly alive, but I remember people telling me I was too much, that I needed to feel less, and that if I didn’t, I was going to be tortured by the world. And it’s true my feelings would swing me left and right. It was exhausting to feel, and it was exhausting to feel like you were feeling some things to extremes compared to others. But I’ll admit that feeling heightened my sense of everything and was my doorway to seeing life’s beauty. It was my biggest strength and weakness.
However, for a while, I took a logical approach. I needed to be less reactive. I needed to be less sensitive or else I would be susceptible to a great deal of emotions on a daily basis. I remember getting so hurt one time that it kind of numbed me. I remember saying, “There’s no way I am going to allow myself to feel this hurt again.” I couldn’t bear the possibility of it. Suddenly, there was this blankness. I was nothing and I felt nothing, like a robot. I was free yet trapped. There were days where I would yearn to feel something, just anything, but the emptiness killed me. But that’s the rule of life—when you strip away your ability to feel pain, you also strip away the ability to feel joy because both go hand in hand, so you end up like an empty shell just going on about your day.
And I am not going to lie, it took me a long while to bring back my emotions and to truly experience full-on sadness and happiness again. And it only started by letting out the repressed pain. But when I did, I was forever changed. My sensitivity was never something to be ashamed of. Maybe I just needed better coping strategies for it. What I needed was never to shrink how sensitive I am but rather to use it to my advantage. Let’s just say it here: you can be strong and sensitive. Your sensitiveness can be your biggest gift. Perhaps sensitivity is something that allows us to direct our attention towards something that needs to be addressed, like an old wound or how much we’d like the world to be a better place. Maybe your sensitivity allows you to spot bad intentions easily. Perhaps your sensitivity can help you see through people more easily. Perhaps it helps you be a better empath and in turn relate and help others. Your sensitivity can help you understand many things if you’re willing to bravely follow it and sit with it. Your sensitivity is a reaction to something that you can help heal whether internally or externally.
I know it’s not always easy. The world is far from perfect. In fact, it is oftentimes heartbreaking, and I often feel my heart break with it. I know that sometimes your feelings eat you alive. But I believe heightened sensitivity is what also makes a world a better place—it is what fuels art, it’s what allows us to see beauty, it’s what helps us remain soft to help others and it’s what makes us alive. As much as a sensitive heart can be very hard to navigate, I believe that those blessed with it have the power to experience life to the point of awe. They have the power to also access joy like no one else can and they have the power to touch lives.
So, keep breaking and keep finding ways to access the softness of your heart again, and when you do find it, do something good with it. And for now, if your heart is shattered into a million pieces and it feels too much to bear, sit with it, even if it’s killing you, because I promise you one day you’ll cry tears of happiness if you’d just let yourself feel. Please don’t shut down. The world needs your soft heart.