Post-college, I was burnt out and stressed from trying to “keep up.”
I craved more time in nature, seeing the world, not sitting behind a desk and letting the years pass by.
I knew deep down that there had to be another way to live.
One of my late-night searches led me to realize that I am a highly sensitive person.
It felt like a blessing and a curse. It finally explained why I felt different than other people and shed light on why I didn’t have as much energy or needed more downtime than those around me.
But it also felt like a curse because society values people that are the exact opposite of sensitive. I struggled with accepting it for a long time. I wanted to be able to work late, party, and chase the promotions just like “everyone else.” My mind kept pushing even when my body was telling me it couldn’t keep up.
Instead of honoring my sensitive side, I pretended to live as someone completely opposite. I wanted to be always “on,” ready to party, crack jokes, and stay up late making sure everyone had fun.
While that was fun for everyone around me, it made me feel miserable:
I didn’t know who I was.
I felt disconnected from myself.
I would shut off every emotion that came to me.
I was scared to actually feel emotions like loneliness or anger, fearing it would be “too much” for me to handle. Or that I would “stay there forever.”
I stayed in this cycle for years, coming up with ways to suppress my emotions: dieting and bingeing, partying too much, negative self-talk, and endless hours of researching ways to be “better.”
In fact, I couldn’t even identify my emotions day to day. I lived in a constant state of anxiety.
I’m sure you can identify with some of these methods of suppressing emotions. The majority of us are not taught how to identify and embrace them.
After learning that I was highly sensitive, I decided to learn more about how I can live in tune with my true nature. I started to read every self-help book I could get my hands on. I spent weekends at home, saying no to invitations. I wanted to get to know the real me for the first time in my life. I decided right then and there that I would honor my sensitivity and inspire others to do the same.
Being sensitive is truly a superpower.
At our core, all humans are emotional beings. That is the beauty of being human: we get to experience life through the feelings and emotions that we experience.
When we tap into our sensitivity, we get to receive and give love to others, which is the best emotion in the world. It’s hard to express these feelings when we’re constantly working and achieving.
Yet we live in a society that values toughness, grit, masculinity, and endless hard work. Many of us live in this way because we think that is the only way to achieve our goals.
When I was growing up, this was the only message I heard and saw on TV. I believed I had to work endless hours to get that next promotion or that I had to be the most extroverted person in order to get noticed in school. I was sure that society quickly gave favor to the loudest person in the room and forgot about everyone else.
But what society views as “toughness” actually means that most of us are shutting off our emotions, struggling with anxiety, and never feeling happy. Our obsession with achieving has led us to lose connection to who we really are.
When we spend all our time in the masculine way of living, we aren’t stopping to appreciate everything we already have. The masculine wants more accolades while the feminine wants to enjoy life and express emotions.
Thankfully, I am noticing that society is starting to shift and more people are placing importance on slowing down and enjoying life. This lifestyle is what inspired me to start writing and sharing my lessons with others: namely that when we start to embrace our emotional side, our entire life will open up.
Before we get into how you can start tapping into your sensitivity, let’s identify some ways that we may be ignoring our feelings:
>> Dieting and/or over-eating
>> Exercising way too much
>> Not taking downtime or rest
>> Overspending/not being able to hang onto money
>> Staying in toxic friendships and relationships
>> Binge drinking
>> Constant negative self-talk and body shaming
>> Judging others
>> Playing the victim or blaming everyone else for your circumstances
>> Constantly being on the go or never able to sit with yourself
>> Always being available for other people
Identify any of these in yourself?
The main theme between all the above is that they are distractions that further disconnect us from ourselves. These methods are all dependent on external gratification, acceptance, and stimulation.
What holds most of us back from feeling our emotions is a fear that we won’t be able to handle it: that a feeling will be “too great” and impossible to bounce back from.
But I am here to tell you that you are much stronger than you think. The truth is that our body will never betray us.
Our body will never give us an emotion we can’t handle; we can trust whatever comes up.
Emotions exist for a reason and are a powerful teacher. So when we feel things such as loneliness, sadness, or even anger and frustration, sit with them. Let the emotions come to you and learn their lesson. This powerful article will tell you how to move through anxiety and fear.
Maybe we feel loneliness. Instead of trying to run from it, why not discover where we are disconnected from ourselves? Or if we’re feeling anger, it could be because there’s a deeper suppressed belief that we haven’t acknowledged. Emotions are not something to be feared, they are actually our greatest teachers.
We will soon realize that we can handle whatever life throws at us. Now for those of us who are naturally sensitive, please recognize it as a gift—a gift to experience life to its fullest, to find joy in the little things, and to care deeper for the ones we love.
This also means that we may feel the tougher emotions more deeply.
And that’s okay!
Life comes in waves and the good times always come back again. When we start to realize that emotions are our greatest teacher, everything changes. .
Sensitivity is a superpower. When we let emotions enhance our life, without imprisoning us, we are free to experience our time on Earth to the fullest.
And if we aren’t naturally sensitive or connected to ourselves, we can get there.
I went from suppressing everything that came up to now being able to experience and identify all ranges of emotions with open arms.
And let me tell you, my experience and appreciation of life has grown exponentially. I can walk around confidently knowing that I can handle anything—no belief or feeling has power over me.
A small way to start feeling our emotions is just sitting quietly and letting them come up.
Turn off the distractions and make a vow that you want to get to know yourself. The emotions may feel intense at first, but I promise we can handle them. And when something makes you really happy, feel it! Smile big, bask in the moment, tell everyone you know, hug someone you love.
Feeling everything is the first step to creating our dream life. We can identify what feels really good to us, what lights us up, and move more toward that every day. When something feels wrong, we can identify that at the moment and move more toward feeling good again.
Our emotions will become our compass to everything we desire.
So don’t be afraid to go inward and build that connection to yourself. Once we truly know ourselves—once we lean into our sensitive side—we become unstoppable.