Empaths, Energy Sensitives, Healing, Humor, Intuitives, Self-compassion, Sensitivities

“You’re So Sensitive!”

Have you ever been called “too sensitive,” “so sensitive,” or just plain “sensitive?” The first two suggest that you are an extreme case, and the third indicates that if you are sensitive at all, you are an outlier. So what if you are? Is the person who called you this a robot? Are the majority of our species actually robots? Are we the few authentic human mammals left standing? 

What does this even mean? When did our culture decide that the appropriate way of being is shut off from our capacity to feel, and in denial of true experience? Who decided what the acceptable level of sensitivity is for humans? Why is it frowned upon to freely and safely express our truths and vulnerabilities of being alive? Even on a subconscious level, we try to stomp out emotions and other energies: “bad” ones because we think they are bad, and “good” ones because we think we are unworthy. I don’t want to feel sheepish for picking up on more subtle data than most people do. We were given these bodies to feel things.

And while I want to give these folks a big “Deal With It!”, I’m simultaneously internalizing the ridicule, and taking on the label. Is it YOU who calls yourself sensitive? I don’t doubt it, considering how much the masses have made us feel like we are faulty or weak. 

And I’m not just talking about emotional sensitivities, such as getting nervous, irritated, upset, insecure…I’m also talking about the physical effects our flesh experiences. Maybe you get lots of headaches, or your skin breaks out, or your back goes out easily, or you can’t eat anything without having your gut in knots.

Being energetically sensitive likely means you experience or are aware of a lot of “symptoms.” Symptoms aren’t fun to begin with, and because of the way society has labeled “sensitives,”  we often get thrown into this cycle (I would make a circular diagram if I knew how on the computer, but for now I’ll just keep it as a list): 

  1. Symptom
  2. Uh oh!
  3. Judgements from other people for exhibiting a stigmatized way of being
  4. Being sensitive to other people’s judgements
  5. Feeling ashamed for being sensitive
  6. Manifesting additional or heightened symptoms
  7. Hiding it and denying it in fear of more judgement
  8. Reinforcing perceived ability to operate in the world without being a complete mess. 
  9. Repeat…

For years I was great at wadding up my mental/emotional messages and shoving them deep deep inside me. Well that really did the trick, because now I’m such that if even ONE of my leg hairs is out of alignment, I know immediately. (Maybe I don’t shave my legs so I can used them as energetic antennae? Isn’t that one of the evolutionary functions of body hair? I would definitely survive in the wild cuz I would always know when danger was near.) I’ve spent a long while thinking this was a curse, because I couldn’t do anything without feeling a sense of insecurity, and I thought my creativity was a threat. I told myself my body was weak, my mind was scary, and that I was susceptible to any pathogen that came within five miles of me. Well that was a great way to live, let me tell you! So much for self trust…

People will say, “Wow, REALLY? That bothers you?” How dramatic… sorry? Why it doesn’t bother you? Should I be able to smell fabric softener and not be effected? Is that what humans were meant to do? Sorry I can’t eat food that would slowly kill me while capitalist society acted clueless about the obesity epidemic? Sorry I can’t live in denial? Seriously, folks, we’ve evolved so much and some of us still have the emotional capacity of a Neanderthal. And I bet even they wouldn’t like the smell of fabric softener! Should I really have to feel lame because my body rejects things that humans were never meant to have contact with? Should I have to put up with people who don’t treat me (or others) well, no matter how subtle the act? No way. When we are triggered by something, it is a sign from our higher self that it is something to cautious of, to pay attention to, or simply to stay away from. 

And why aren’t, say, “angry people” considered sensitive? They obviously are if they are angry about things…they are just able to express their sensitivity in a way that is “strong” or “bold” rather than “wimpy?”  I’m not saying that people who aren’t sensitive are inconsiderate. Not at all. But some of them are of the mindset that if THEY don’t personally experience something, then it is impossible for others to as well. I’m like, “Forgive me, I consciously chose to be nauseous because I want you to be uncomfortable, and since I REALLY like to suffer, I threw in some brain fog too.” If things are super subtle then we’ve imagined them and we are crazy. By and large, our society has encouraged and trained us to deny our humanity.

It seems to me that being extra sensitive is only considered a “problem” if it is a human who exhibits these qualities (or at least real life humans…extra sensitive people in movies get a lot of fanfare). You wouldn’t badmouth a rabbit for being a rabbit, would you? Or a horse that startles easily? Or a dog dog with a tail habitually between their legs? You would probably want to study them, or try to comfort them. But if it were a human, most would probably be like, “NOPE. STEER CLEAR. THEY ARE COMPLICATED.” Not that we all should be little bunny rabbits; it’s a tough life! Besides, many of us are more akin to bulldogs, and that’s great! We need bulldogs! But we can’t disparage someone for being of their true nature (even though a bulldog would probably attack the bunny). Even bulldogs have their own unique sensitivities.

Sensitive does not equal susceptible. This gift of receptivity can be harnessed in a way where we learn to navigate the world with strong boundaries. Where we pick up on things but we do not take them on as our own. May we stay open and remain strong. Your intuitive gifts will take you far if you honor them. 

Doe and babies I encountered hiking in California’s Point Reyes National Seashore

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