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By Shawn McAndrew

feeling sensitiveMost of my childhood I was told I was “too sensitive.” What did those comments even mean? Because I felt things? Because I expressed myself? Whatever people meant by saying I was too sensitive, it was enough to make me stuff my feelings. But it didn’t make my sensitivity go away.

Feeling Sensitive Is a Blessing

I interpreted the comments as criticisms and ways to restrict my behavior, whether they were meant that way or not. They were hurtful and caused me much anguish. But being sensitive is a blessing, I know now.

On this side of life (meaning, I’m a lot older!), I get to think about those comments. I get to do some Cycle of Transformation work to release how they affected me and how I have reacted as an adult through patterns and negative behaviors. The more I understand what it means to be sensitive, the more I can appreciate and own this part of me.

Turn Up the Volume

Being sensitive brings empathy and compassion to the surface. I feel what’s happening around me more acutely. That can be hard sometimes, but it is also like turning up the volume on life. As I write this blog a song is playing in the background, Sensitive Kind by J. J. Cale. I’ve never heard this song before, and I have to chuckle at the synchronicity of it:

Don’t take her for granted, she has a hard time
Don’t misunderstand her or play with her mind
Treat her so gently, it will pay you in time
You’ve got to know she’s the sensitive kind…

Feeling sensitive should be celebrated and honored. When we tap into our feelings, we have the opportunity to connect and open to the world around us. This allows us to acknowledge what is happening beneath the surface and shift as needed. We can accommodate what we’re thinking, doing, and feeling from a healthy, aware place.

Thankful for Feeling Sensitive

By releasing the pain and anguish of childhood interpretations of those around us, we can feel more purely from our spirits. When someone tells me I’m too sensitive now, I am thankful that I feel. I am alive and being in the moment. I don’t have to stay stuck in the past, nor do I have to take on the other person’s meaning of “too sensitive.”

As we continue to emerge from our cocoons that we’ve lived in for the past year, let’s be gentle with ourselves and remember that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. Let’s live life to the fullest and be as sensitive as we want to be.

  • Julie


    07/05/21 at 7:24 AM

    Thank you for your blog on “being sensitive”. I have always been told I’m too sensitive and often wondered why I feel things around me, am tuned in to the moods of others around me and I can let it affect me directly. This is something I realize through your writings that I really need to do work on in the cycle of transformation as I didn’t realize how much of an affect it has had on me. I have always done the same- try to push my feelings down and hide them. It has made me not trusting of others or letting people know my feelings. I have a lot of work to do in this area. I have never heard it explained this way but you hit it right on the head for me.

    • Shawn


      07/05/21 at 10:13 AM

      Thank you, Julie. Honoring and owning this aspect of myself has been a long journey, and healing the hurt has allowed me to get there. I remember being on public transport once and looking at a woman standing near me. I suddenly felt her pain and had a glimpse into her life. I asked my friend who was traveling with me if she ever “knew” things about others. She looked at me like I was nuts, and I decided she was not someone with whom to share my sensory stuff. Finding others who can understand or support you is helpful in honoring this gift. Good luck on your cycle of transformation journey. It always leads back to love, compassion, and acceptance of self and others.

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