Wearing your heart on your sleeve isn’t always a walk in the park. As sensitive, open-hearted people, we are deeply affected by the world.
Knowing this, my therapist gave me a helpful handout – of which she gives me many, I love it – adapted from the wonderful Beth Berry – Revolution from Home. When I read the handout, it was like Berry was speaking directly to me. While I’ve more recently come into the idea that vulnerability is a strength, I didn’t always believe it.
As Brené Brown says,
“We cannot selectively numb emotions. When we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.”
This is something I’ve always struggled with. Growing up in a childhood where showing emotion was looked down upon and emotional communication wasn’t exactly there – expressing any emotion was considered negative. But having this mentality also limited any good feelings too.
I’ve learned that it is possible to be a heart-led person and a high functioning human being. Here are some ways to live from the heart, while protecting it:
Discernment is everything.
It’s so crucial to be cautious about what and whom you let into your experiences. Opening your heart to your family, friends, co-workers, community members and regularly listening to the news can be extremely overwhelming. This doesn’t mean you’re living in blissful ignorance, but with self-loving discernment.
We aren’t required to hold pain.
Though we feel deeply, we aren’t serving anyone by stocking up on all that pain. Don’t bottle it up – let it in, feel it, then let it pass. I’ve found that holding in that pain builds up and channels itself into more anxiety and fear.
Self-love is key.
Creating a safe space for your heart to flourish should become a part of your daily practice – it will make healing a much smoother process. The more you realize that loving yourself is worthwhile, the easier it will be to share that love with the people who matter.
In addition, your version of self care is yours alone. It doesn’t need to make sense to anyone else. Whether you want to leave a party, be the first to call it a night, or the only one ordering dessert at dinner – do what you need to for your own mental health and heart.
You are only responsible for my emotions, mindset and actions.
Becoming more clear on what I’m responsible for in my personal relationships and what I’m not, has helped to create healthy boundaries with those I love and surround myself with, as well as the world around me. No one else can control your emotions but you – own your feelings.
To my shining stars who feel just a little deeper than the rest – I see you and want to make it clear:
Never mistake sensitivity for weakness.
The world needs us softies, let’s show ’em how compassion is done.
How do you feed your heart? Share your ways of coping with being hyper sensitive!