There are moments when I’m like, Jeez I’m putting my face on my site…and attaching the ‘sensitive’ label to myself. What am I thinking?! Moments when I question whether this vulnerability is truly worth it. But luckily, those moments are fewer and farther between now. Because in wanting to ‘help others’ overcome this stigma, what’s happened instead is that I’ve removed any last bits of negativity about sensitivity within myself! Funny how that works. The best way to learn is to teach. I’ve also told myself that if I can even help ONE other person who’s struggling with their own sensitivity to become empowered, then this obvious insanity is very much worth it.
However, I would still love it if more of you joined me. Whether IRL or online, bringing sensitivity out in the open could mean just bringing it up to a few trusted intimates or to random people you meet at parties (I’ve been doing that recently, it’s been very interesting – I’ll write about that in another post!). Either ways, it could be a scary thing! But ultimately, I’ve found that it’s been so worth it.
My dream is that one day, we can all have a really sensitive party where we can talk about our feelings, the moon, the Universe, energy, snack on dark chocolate and drink our preferred beverages while deeply respecting each others’ boundaries. And love each other (in totally non-co-dependent ways). LET’S MAKE THAT HAPPEN.
9 Reasons to Step out of the Sensitive Closet
What I’ve learnt from blogging about sensitivity for a year.
1. You might help someone who’s struggling silently to discover that they are sensitive too.
Sharing your own experiences might lead to an a-ha! moment for a fellow HSP/Empath, someone who’s probably silently being hard on themselves for feeling weird, different or exhausted right now. Think about all the comfort you could be providing someone!
2. It helps to normalize sensitivity.
It’s not some weird, hush-hush secret. It’s a lovely part of you! Bringing sensitivity into conscious awareness, taking the lead by showing others how you are comfortable with it, helps people who are silently feeling weird or awkward or anxious to know that there’s nothing wrong with them. Ultimately, you’re playing a role in helping to create an environment of understanding and acceptance. It’s just another thing that exists, no more or less special. But in giving sensitivity its rightful place in the world, that raises its status from ‘that weird thing that makes me feel uncomfortable’ to ‘cool, it’s something that exists’.
3. You become braver.
There’s something empowering about speaking your truth. Not just sensitivity, but about anything really. In this world where truth can be inconvenient, where many people are invested in you not being a pesky inconvenience… GO BE THAT PESKY INCONVENIENCE. Take it as a kind of soul growth challenge.
4. You attract the people you want to be around.
Prior to coming out, one of my desires was to be around other empowered/evolving/self-aware empaths and sensitives and just generally awesome human beings. But then I was too busy being in denial/coming to grips with it for that to really happen. After a couple of years of poking around and learning all I could about myself, it got pretty…lonely! But after I decided to be more open about it, I’ve been slowly attracting kindred spirits. Once you embrace who you truly are, the people around you WILL change. Though simply sharing this trait of sensitivity alone doesn’t mean that you’d necessarily become great friends right away, it is really cool to know that there are so many people out there who really FEEL you. Some of those people could be the soul friends you’ve been waiting for (and who have been waiting for you!) all along.
5. You start to see that it’s just one part of you.
When you’re starting to find out more about yourself, difficult emotions can arise – sadness, anger, resentment – and all of these feelings are perfectly valid. But there is a danger of getting mired in those feelings, having a hard time truly becoming comfortable with it – with ‘sensitivity’ as an all-consuming label that keeps you stuck. A solution to that is channeling that energy out through starting and leading conversations about it, or writing a blog about it instead of letting it eat you up inside. I’ll be the first to read your blog!
6. It helps you to own it about yourself.
You can help to reframe the conversation, especially when your sensitivity has a part to play in any conflict that you’re a part of. And in the process of doing so, it helps you to gain even further self-awareness. Instead of accepting someone’s assessment of you, e.g. the old gem “You’re too sensitive!”, say, “Yes, I am sensitive. But it’s not what you think. I just feel and think more deeply than you, and it’s a very common trait!” At that point, the person in question would probably check out or have nothing to say, but you’re doing a very important thing: you’re standing up for yourself. The response you get is irrelevant. You’ve just owned it and have re-written that script of shame. That is a truly powerful thing.
7. It gives others the courage to do the same.
Why I’m even writing this now is the result of reading the work of so many people before me who have put in so much thought, research and vulnerability into this. Go spread the light in your part of the world now! There can never be too many people talking about this – your message might be meant for someone who only YOU can speak to, who can draw strength from you to become empowered too.
8. You can educate people.
Gently, and not in a pushy way that violates people’s boundaries – you can share about what it means to you, so that not-so-sensitive people could start to learn more, if they are willing and ready to listen.
9. We are all going to die anyway.
“Almost everything–all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure–these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.
Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” – Steve Jobs
As I type this on my Macbook, the ghost of Steve Jobs reminds me that ultimately, we have to share what’s in our hearts. We have to reveal who we are. I think empaths value authenticity more than anything, truth above all else – and there are respectful ways to do it. One of the ways is to step out, show the world who you really are by speaking your truth. The light outside the closet may be dazzling at first, but it is there, and there is a place for you in it.