Why Feeling Everything is a Gift

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Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears.
— Edgar Allan Poe

“You’re too much.”

“Don’t be so ridiculous.”

“You’re so sensitive.”

“You’re crazy.”

“You’ll never be able to achieve that without a rich husband.”

“You’re broken.”

“You’re clearly mentally unwell.”

“You just have to settle for how things are like everybody else does.”

Do any of these sound familiar to you?

These are just a few of the things I have been told over the years as a highly sensitive person or ‘empath’ which seems to be a popular term these days.

Essentially, I’m someone who feels very deeply.

My ability to feel things deep in my heart, soul and cell tissue was something I used to find myself apologising for. My naturally gentle, intuitive nature would make other people uncomfortable and I would catch myself speeding up or shutting up to match their requirements and ensure I didn’t step on anyone’s toes.

I often found myself overwhelmed, panicked and unable to breathe when it all became too much. I had no knowledge of narcissistic behaviour and repeatedly ended up in toxic relationships that were at odds with the truth of who I was, leaving no space for me to be myself.

I twisted myself into a pretzel, desperate to receive love and feel as if I belonged, but again and again I wound up exhausted, confused and disconnected.

I reached a point where I was done trying to be someone I wasn’t, just so I could fit into other people’s ideals.

Maybe you’ve reached yours too?

Getting to the complete and utter point of exhaustion can be liberating; the point when you finally understand that you no longer need to apologise, because you never did anything wrong in the first place, is the edge of freedom.

So what if you feel everything so deeply?

So what if a look or a remark cuts into your sides like a knife?

So what if you’re more sensitive and aware than most?

So what?

Because I know you’d rather feel everything deep down into the depths of your soul than turn away from what comes up for healing in the moment; been there, done that and it hurts even more.

I know that you’d rather risk feeling small and weak and raw and vulnerable than spend another minute stuffing down or denying another emotion that’s desperately asking for you to listen to what it has to say.

I know you’d prefer to feel it all; the ups and the downs, the highs and the lows, the bitterness and the sweetness, than to still be where you were before; numbing, apologising, swallowing it all down and plastering on a smile to protect yourself.

But if you’re anything like me and have built walls to guard your heart from the world, armouring yourself so those biting comments can’t get in, you’ll know that eventually, the walls become a prison of isolation and you feel nothing but trapped, disorientated and lonely.

And isolation isn’t where a sensitive soul can thrive.

There is risk in allowing ourselves to feel, because to feel everything and to experience it all requires us to become vulnerable and remove that so-called armour. It requires us to allow people to take down our walls so that we can be seen. Each of us longs to be loved whether we choose to admit that or not.

We only run into trouble and distrust when we allow the wrong people in, usually because we’ve turned away from our true nature; the gentle, quiet, loving truth of who we are, the limitless, boundless presence that doesn’t even know how to construct walls.

So as long as we keep turning toward ourselves, away from the crowd, as long as we refuse to continue denying that part of ourselves, we won’t have to worry about frantically rebuilding those walls.

There’s no point anyway, because they’ll be blown flat with one gust of truth.

Armoured and heavy is not who you are and it’s not who you aspire to be. You came here to feel everything deeply for a reason; it doesn’t need to be a curse, it’s actually a gift.

You came here to show all the other confused and lost, sensitive souls what it means to feel and how beautiful and expansive it can be to take down our walls instead of hold them up. As much as it can be tempting to close, please don’t. Try to stay open and trusting to that sensitive nature of yours, the same way you would a dear friend.

It needs you to listen, and the wisest voices are never the loudest, they can only be heard as a whisper once you’re ready to hear them.

Photo by Giulia Bertelli on Unsplash