Too Sensitive

The other day, a colleague told me I was "too sensitive."  I've been told this many times in my life and I used to internalize it and think that something was wrong with me.  After all, being "too" anything means that you have too much of that thing, right?  Usually, when someone says that you are "too sensitive", they are discounting what you are saying, how you are feeling or what you are thinking.  And then, you start to discount yourself as well because they said that.  Well, now I've come to honor my empathetic abilities and see them as a strength rather than a weakness.  After all, my sensitivity is what allows me to be compassionate towards others and meet them at their pain and walk with them in their pain and through their pain.  My sensitivity is what allows me to write songs that reach people on a deeper level and songs that translate pain that not only I feel but what others may be feeling as well.  My sensitivity is what drives me to try to understand other people rather than just dismiss them with judgments.  My sensitivity is what drives me to advocate for those that are less fortunate or cannot speak for themselves. 

I believe that God doesn't make mistakes.  I was born sensitive and I was born this way for a reason.  So, if you are also someone who has been labeled as "too sensitive", see it a strength and see it as a good thing no matter what anyone else says.  There have been so many great sensitive people throughout history that stand as wonderful examples of how to use your sensitivity for a higher purpose.  Some examples of my sensitive heroes include Oprah, Thich Nhat Hanh, Dalai Lama, Ghandi, Kurt Cobain, Mother Teresa, St. Francis of Assisi, Marsha Linehan, Wayne Dyer, Jon Conte, Rumi, Brian Weiss, Langston Hughes, Gary Zukav, Eckhart Tolle, Princess Diana, Arianna Huffington, Maya Angelou, and many more.  So, if you too are someone who has been called "too sensitive", know that you stand in good company.

Back in 2003, I wrote a poem called:

One of the Last Great Sensitives


I know that I am

one of the last great sensitives

for the world is warping us

into one of their own

telling us we're too sensitive

telling us to toughen up

touching us in our soft spots

sneaking cold into our hearts

and thick under our skin

and hardness into our souls


Don't let it work on you

and I won't let it work on me

for we're much too loving to lose what we believe

They can turn the tide whichever way they want

but if I'm to be swallowed, I am to be swallowed whole

not broken down piece by piece

by that pushy sales lady posing as a concerned caregiver

by that sea of angry mobsters posing as day care workers

by the exclusive, by the bullies, by the gossipers, by the mindless, by the selfish, by the lazy, by the unethical, by the corrupt, by the materialistic, by the chauvinistic, by the powers that be

They may all band together against me but

I will not sway, I will remain

one of the last great sensitives