For years, I carried the weight of believing I was “defective” because I’m “sensitive.” And “sen-si-tive” (defined by Google as “quick to detect or respond to slight changes, signals or influences OR having or displaying a quick and delicate appreciation of others’ feelings) is relative. But, for the sake of telling the truth, I AM sensitive. And I absolutely love it. I feel EVERYTHING deeply. I can close my eyes and get so deep inside of a piece of music that it will frighten most people and I can sense shifts in those closest to me without words or even face to face communication. I’m not magical. I’m just sensitive. It makes me emotional. December is emotional.E-mo-tion-al is defined by Google as having feelings that are easily excited and openly displayed, aroused or characterized by intense feeling. Have you ever seen me teach or even seen a picture?
That emotion is real. It comes from a deep place. Sometimes it comes from a place of just feeling the love that feels the room that night. Sometimes it comes from a deep, dark place where I have buried things that hurt. Because people shy away from you when they think you are too emotional. And if you’re sensitive, you don’t want to rock the boat so you keep quiet. And keeping quiet makes you a silent emotional wreck. And then when you finally can’t hold it anymore you have an emotional outburst and people label you by that one thing, calling you “unstable.” Because you’re sensitive, you go back into that hole for the sake of other peoples’ feelings and their feelings about you. And there you live, on the emotional fence.
You can teach some REALLY good classes that way but your face will be a mess by the time you get home from the twenty minute crying fit you had in the car on the way home.
Because I know.
Twenty four years ago, in a one week time period, my father, my ace, my main man was admitted into the hospital for what turned out to be a month’s long stay for a brain tumor that had to be removed. Our house was burglarized (they took just about everything that wasn’t nailed down including my coat and shoes) and my mother had to surrender her job because of what was happening to my dad. What I remember most was losing it Christmas morning. I, literally, tore my room up. And while everyone knew it was coming, I don’t remember anyone telling me it was alright. I seem to recall people trying to talk me out of it. And that’s the way it’s been every December of tragedy and pain (and there have been more than I would like to remember) where I held in my emotion because I didn’t want to be labeled and I was being sensitive to the feelings of those around me and then I completely LOST it….like today.
But the after effects are different.
I felt emotional during my class tonight because I felt so FREE from LOSING it. What I lost today was fear of being judged, told I was wrong, losing people from my life because they didn’t agree and the guilt of emotions I had hid for so long (or maybe not hid because if my feelings are “easily displayed” then maybe those closest to me knew the deal but set the stage for me to come to this point).
The month is not over and some of the worst memories of this month have yet to come full throttle. So if you should encounter me and ask if I am o.k. and I look as if I’ve been crying and say “no,” please don’t be alarmed or run. If it’s in your heart, give me a hug or a hi-five. I get emotional. So emotional.
But my life is better because I do.
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