Wanna know what words hurt me the absolute most?
“You’re too sensitive.”
I grew up hearing this on the daily, and because I would hear it so frequently, I began to believe it.
I would spend hours in my room crying and wondering why I wasn't understood by the people who were so close to me.
I mean, instead of them thinking I was too "emotional", why wouldn't they just take the time to sit down with me and ask why I acted the way that I did? Their lack of interest in understanding why and then persisting to tell me I was “too sensitive”, left me with a lot of hurt. As a little girl, I felt so alone and like there was something majorly wrong with me.
The first clue that I wasn't like everybody else was in elementary school. At this age, I lived with my cousin and she found it hysterical to step on ant hills and kill all the little ants that lived there. I hated it when she did that and found myself feeling so empathetic towards these ants.
She was likely encouraged to continue to do it due to the reaction she got out of me.
But I couldn't hide my response to what she was doing and pretend like it didn’t effect me…because it did.
It physically made me ill. I would muster up elaborate stories in my head of the poor little ant’s life, and how all of their dreams probably just came to an abrupt halt. I would envision how some must have been pregnant or how others never got to live past a full year.
Although I'm not too much of an animal or insect lover now... my reaction as an elementary school little girl, still speaks of my character and how I experience the world. I feel things. Really deeply. I did then and I still do now.
As I got older, I was determined to try to live my life a little differently, thinking that I could change this part of me somehow.
I didn't want to be the fragile person I had been for so long. I was convinced that there was no value in being that girl, who felt so deeply. I didn't want to be deemed as dramatic any longer. For weeks I tried to stop appreciating tiny little things in the world, I stopped empathizing with others and sharing their burdens, and I tried to die down my passion for things as much as I could. I was cold, and turned my sensitive nature off. I become someone I was not because I thought that I would be more liked and accepted.
I don't know if you've ever tried going against who you truly are, but it's exhausting.
Every time that I held my tongue when I wanted to say something or forced thoughts out of my mind because they were too “weak”, I felt like I was losing a part of myself.
I realized that I was taking away the very essence of who I was.
I had to come to grips with the fact that I was made this way, and even if nobody took the time to try and understand why I felt so deeply, it did not mean that there was anything wrong with me. Other people’s lack of understanding did not mean that I was lacking in any way.
I have learned that my sensitive nature can bring so much good.
It helps me to love others more deeply, be moved by people’s stories, motivates me to help others, and gives me a fire and passion for things in life.
I love my ability to be sensitive to the world, and the people around me. It means I appreciate art, love getting to know people’s souls and am captivated by the beauty that God creates in nature. It has also developed, in me, the skills of writing blogs, poems, and songs that can touch people’s hearts. I am able to connect with other young women and truly care about who and how they are.
My sensitive nature is not a curse but rather it is something of immense value and worth.
This is not to say that emotions are never dangerous- they totally are.
They can be deceiving and when our lives are lead by them, they can lead us to poor decisions.
I never want to refuse to change because it's too hard. I want to always be growing in my character and learning how to use my emotions in a productive way. But feeling, everything all at once, is not a sin. It's a gift. And just because most people don't recognize it as one doesn't mean it's not. If I was screaming and yelling and having angry outbursts, that's a different story... but I'm not. I'm just a girl who is a four on the enneagram, and sees every part of this life in color, and can read poetry for hours because I feel seen when I do.
Everyone has their own personality styles and every one comes with their own pros and cons. No person is perfect and we all have things to grow in, but we should never tell someone that they are “too much” simply because they don’t think the same way we do.
It is important to understand the gift that your personality is. Don’t try to change your nature simply because people do not understand it. Instead, you need to embrace how you were created and learn to appreciate others for the strengths they bring to the table as well.
And honestly? This has been something I've been processing through for a very long time, and I've come to this conclusion... 100% of the time when people say that I'm "too much", it’s only because they don’t want to be held responsible for my reaction whenever I’m mistreated by them. So... if you’re like me and you cry when you watch families say goodbye at the airport, and you love with everything you got, and words actually do physically hurt you- you’re not alone. And you’re not “too much”. You’re enough. Learn to surround yourself with people that believe that too.