Be Open, Feel Everything: Why You're Strongest When Your Guard's Down

by Kate Wolff

I am finally reaching a point in my life where I can embrace the fact that I am super sensitive.

It really hasn’t been easy considering the society in which we live. When we feel sad, angry, anxious, etc., we are usually told to suck it up and keep going.

We often feel shame and guilt about being our true selves. As children, we have thoughts like, “But I’m not supposed to feel angry. They are my parents. Does that make me a bad kid?”

So, we try to suppress those feelings to not make other people uncomfortable. We start living lies because we think that’s what we are supposed to do.

We try to stop feeling so deeply as a way to avoid pain instead of meeting it head on as a way to get through it.

Being sensitive is actually a gift, not a curse.

It allows you to pick up on things that many people miss in their everyday lives.

Sensitive people notice that beautiful tree that reminds you of a mythical giant, the lights that smear on your windshield when it’s raining and a deep and pure connection with a friend.

I no longer define success as how much I made this year or how many hours I worked out that day. I think about how much I grew emotionally in order to experience life from a place of wholeness.

When people are too busy numbing themselves to pain, they cut themselves off from so much beauty. We are all meant to be sensitive, which is how we come into the world.

We are just taught, either from our parents, classmates, teachers or the media that we need to be “strong” and “toughen up” when we are sad.

I have finally figured out that there is strength in being vulnerable. Some people think that being vulnerable means you let people walk all over you, but that is not the case at all.

It means you claim who are and then draw the necessary boundaries so toxic people can no longer affect you.

Negative people often surround those who numb themselves, regardless of whether or not the person is aware he or she succumbed to said numbing.

I am so thankful for the people in my life who were able to sit with me in my deep emotional ruts while I went through them. I'm thankful for the people who truly validated the anguish I felt, and spoke to my soul.

It is so rare for someone to not be squeamish when it comes to heavy and real emotional situations.

I am still shocked by how many people aren’t able to go there and vanish (physically or emotionally) in those tough moments, but I’ve learned not to take this so personally. If they can’t go there within themselves, how could they ever go there with me?

I just hope that as time goes by, we all start celebrating sensitivity more. It’s not ever something about which to be embarrassed.

When I see someone crying in public, I always find it endearing and beautiful. Tears truly help you release built-up emotions.

It’s time we all start getting real with one another and stop suppressing our feelings.

If we can find the strength to express ourselves, we give everyone else permission to be free as well.