What is the false narrative you’ve accepted about yourself? What is the messaging you’ve allowed to take space throughout your body, your mind, your heart . . . your soul? Friend, I want you to stop a moment and really reflect on the lies you’ve been told so long that you are now the narrator.
Mine is that I am too sensitive. I don’t think I’ve ever heard the description of sensitive unless it was precursed with the too adverb. As in, too much work. Over the top. Dramatic. Thin-skinned. In my life, sensitivity has certainly never been associated as a compliment.
Funny, I’m often told I’m too sensitive by the people hurting me.
The person who accuses me of being anorexic.
The bully who leaves bruises on my shins under the desk when I threaten to tell the teacher about his constant demeaning and invasion.
The boyfriend calling me stupid, but he “meant it as a tease.”
The relative who constantly criticizes.
“God, you’re so sensitive!”
My sensitivity isn’t only a response to hurtful words. It’s overwhelming when I watch the news. It’s being around certain people and feeling their negative vibes so strongly I am left physically drained. It’s needing time to recharge. It’s taking on the emotional pain of others, carrying it with me like a weighted vest for several days.
I cannot believe it’s taken being in my 30s to hear of sensitivity as a good thing.
For so long I’ve compartmentalized it in my shame column, joining the list of things that are wrong with me.
When I heard Glennon Doyle talk about sensitivity on her episode of Brene Brown’s podcast, time stopped. I frantically pressed the rewind arrows on my phone to hear it again. Sensitivity is a good thing? It wasn’t more than a week later I came across this quote from Glennon, in regards to her daughter:
“Tish is sensitive, and that is her superpower. The opposite of sensitive is not brave. It’s not brave to refuse to pay attention, to refuse to notice, to refuse to feel and know and imagine. The opposite of sensitive is insensitive, and that’s no badge of honor.”
Mic drop. At the risk of being overdramatic, that quote left me feeling revolutionized. I am sensitive, and that can be my superpower? What does that even look like?
It’s catching a sunrise at the perfect moment and being brought to my knees.
It’s being incredibly attuned to my sons and their emotional needs while they’re too young to express them.
It’s feeling my husband’s thoughts before hearing them.
It’s being there for a friend in her pain because now the pain is also mine.
So again I ask you, what is the false narrative you’ve accepted about your life? Have you been told all your life you’re too much?
Is it possible you can wear that accusation like a badge of honor? Better yet, like a cape?