Posted by: scintillatingspeck | November 9, 2015

Sensitive.

Who among the ranks of We the Sensitive hasn’t heard the words, “you’re too sensitive”?

In WEIRD-ville (WEIRD being an acronym standing for Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic), it becomes internalized from a young age.  You’re too sensitive.  Don’t be sensitive.  Don’t feel so much.  Don’t notice so much.  How embarrassing your emotions are.

This seems to me to be the exact opposite of what’s needed in WEIRD-ville.  Everywhere I go, I see numb, busy, distracted people who are disconnected from their feelings and priorities.  People who will do anything rather than see and hear their own hearts.  People even prefer electric shocks to being alone with their own thoughts for 15 minutes.

Denizens of WEIRD-ville, you aren’t being sensitive enough.

~~~

What if we could allow ourselves the leeway to experience the full range of our feelings?  I don’t know about you, but my first reaction to that is but then all hell would break loose.  Not because of what I fear in other people, but what I fear in myself.

I’ve been getting more opportunity to be alone and feel my feelings.  Feel my feelings.  That phrase just cries out for mockery, doesn’t it?  I’ll hold back, not because I actually like sounding all gooey self-helpy, but because if I don’t, my inner screeching gargoyles will go to town and take over, and I need to put them in their place.  I get to say phrases that make me want to barf, dammit.

What’s all the aloneness about?  Am I actually more alone than before?  I think I was able to maintain a marginally less-lonely feeling when I was still spending time on Facebook, and now I’ve ripped that perceptual illusion down.  I went into a minor frenzy of increased blogging for a bit, as compensation, but in ceasing to cross-post blog links to Facebook, it was clear I wasn’t getting much “traffic.”  This felt crappy.  I wanted to understand why it felt so crappy.  My instincts were telling me to blog less, interact less, seek less audience, seek less feedback, slow everything the hell down.  It felt scary and painful.

I’m still in the middle of it.  I’m going to keep with it, too, because I want to hear my own heart.  I want to honor my own feelings and my own story.  It’s too easily outshouted and numbed.  I see ever more clearly the ways I have been numbing and hiding.  I, who could possibly qualify as the homecoming queen of sensitivity, want to be more sensitive.  I want to create an oasis of space-time to protect this sensitivity.  And I only want to reveal myself to very few people right now.

Lily and Mama under the scintillating tree.  Art in the Orchard, Easthampton, MA.  Photo credit: Lise McGuinness.

Lily and Mama under the sparkly tree. Art in the Orchard, Easthampton, MA. Photo credit: Lise McGuinness.

 

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Responses

  1. Hi Jen.
    I miss your part in my FB illusion but I can understand and even dig what you are doing.
    Aloha, Randle

    • I miss you, Randle. Please know that I welcome contact with you—I just need it to not be through Facebook at this point. You are so dear to my heart. That hasn’t changed.

  2. Hi Jen, I just wanted to leave a note and let you know I’ve been reading. Your posts are so eloquent and important. What you are doing matters!

  3. May peace surround you in your efforts! (Looking forward to seeing you Thursday.)

    • Somehow your comment has queued up the canon “Dona nobis pacem” in my brain… thanks. May peace surround us all.

  4. Wonderfully posted! I’m SAME as you- I’ve been told by EVERYONE- my husband, more than not, that I’m TOO sensitive and take things TOO personally. I can’t help myself, I believe I’m an empath- I think I absorb other peoples’ vibes and energy too much that I let it effect how I feel in that current moment. I even get sick to my stomach when certain movies or commercials show abused animals ( keep in mind that I hunt deer, so I’m not against hunting or anything). LOL!
    Also, it is hard for me to work for places that have a lot of social interactions from authority figures, I’m a big baby when it c omes to criticism.. i definitely overthink things. I’ve been working on it for many years.
    I think you have a wonderful spirit and being sensitive can have a lot of good behind it, we just have to find ways around it and tell ourselves otherwise.

    • Please keep being sensitive, droptheamericandreamroutine. (Also, please keep dropping the American dream routine, as well!) It isn’t easy to be un-numb, but sensitivity and empathy are huge gifts. Huge. I also deal with big challenges with handling criticism, but I’ve learned a lot over time.

      Overthinking is extremely familiar to me, which is why I keep reminding myself to be heart-centered. Thinking is useful up to a point. The heart is a more reliable guide.

      I think a lot of what I’m learning lately is to be more discerning about what energies I’m taking in or putting out. I wish the same for you. I don’t think rigid boundaries, hierarchies, rules, etc. are a great thing (so much of my focus is on dismantling stuff like that), but I do think we aren’t meant to be incapacitated by sensitive superpowers, either—I think some effort to protect one’s own vulnerability is worthwhile.

      • Thanks for the thoughtful response back, I appreciate ending my evening on a positive note.
        Thanks again, I look forward to reading more enlightening posts..

  5. Don’t feel so much, don’t notice so much… or else you might notice how wrong everything is and do something about it!

    • Exactly. “Pay no attention to that little man behind the curtain…”


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