Since the time I can remember I have been the type of girl who is extremely sensitive
- From emotions.
- To other people’s emotions.
- To my environment.
- Everything from lighting… to noise…
- Even my skin and eyes are sensitive.
I used to view this sensitivity as a weakness. I had beliefs including, but not limited to:
- I’m different.
- I don’t belong.
- There’s something wrong with me.
- I’m unlikeable / Nobody likes me.
I struggled with being shy as a child, (or so I was told I was). I was withdrawn, quite, overwhelmed easily, distracted, my head in the clouds. It was difficult for me to make friends. With this came a feeling of alienation from my schoolmates. I struggled with Bullying from middle until high school. It went as far as there being an “I hate Dani club” in junior high.
I spent countless nights at home, crying along in my room. I internalized this extreme insolense into self hatred. I hated everything about myself. My body. My skin. My face. My hair. My voice. My clothes. My belongings. My house. And at one point (I hate to admit) my family, including our dogs. My self esteem plummeted.
I really struggled throughout my youth. I had very few friends, sometimes none. I was constantly feeling like the black sheep of my family. During this time, I isolated and acted out. I felt very powerless, and very much a victim. It was not until the later years of college and graduate school did I finally start to understand my life, my patterns, my behaviors, and my thinking. I logically knew I was lovable, smart, pretty, but I never felt that way emotionally. But I finally understood and started on my journey to self-love.
I’m still not quite there 100%, but I can honestly say today that I do love myself and I now see how my sensitivity serves me. I have accepted that I am a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP). Check it out. It’s a thing.
I am very in tune with my emotions.
Emotional awareness is huge, not only in my career as a therapist and life coach, but as a human being. I am in touch with my feelings, and am therefore better able to regulate and manage them. Emotional Intelligence (emotional awareness paired with emotional regulation) is the biggest predictor of success, even more preeminent than high IQ.
Because of this I am in tune with other people’s emotions, which serves me greatly. I now see my sensitivity and heightened emotions as a strength, instead of just a vulnerability. I feel really low lows, but I also feel really high highs.
I have strong empathy.
Empathy comes easily to me. This strength greatly aids me in workking with my clients. I am easily able to put myself in other people’s shoes and see things from various perspectives. I have done a lot of self work, so I am able to do this objectively when necessary. The world needs more empathy, when it comes to relationships, friendships, family life, and our community. And I am proud to say I have a lot of it!
I am more self-aware than the average Jane.
Self awareness is not something I was born with, but I have adopted it into my life and it continues to grow and develop. Self awareness is huge when it comes to anything you do in life. It enables you take full responsibility for yourself and your life (instead of being a victim).
Most people choose not to be self aware, because ignorance and the latter is easier. When most people begin to be self aware and turn on those lights, they start to see how much emotional pain they are in, and they immediately want to turn the lights back off. And that’s fine. But it really takes away all your power.
Self Awareness gives you power, choice, responsibility, and ultimately the ability to Change and grow.
I am constantly growing.
When you are in tune with yourself, your emotions, and your world, there is almost nothing you aren’t willing to face and experience. Since I am able to regulate my emotions, there is no emotion I am unwilling to feel.
An unwillingness to feel unpleasant emotions (like fear, hurt, shame, etc) is what holds many people back in life. EVERYTHING we do in life is to either feel or avoid feeling a certain way. This enables me to take risks and truly live, because I know I can take care of myself. I know I will be okay.
I know it’s okay to fail, and that if I do, it does NOT mean I AM a failure. Anything that comes and goes like other people, circumstances, thoughts, feelings, results, are not a part of me. They do not define me. I can be my authentic self and am able to adapt. Grow. Learn. And pick myself back up to keep on trekking. I am sensitive, and proud of it!
Are you sensitive or an HSP? How did you deal with this growing up? How does this impact you now? Do you view it as a strength or weakness? What do you struggle with the most when it comes to emotions and your sensitivy? Let me know in the comments below.