My entire life, I’ve been acutely aware of one of my greatest attributes, which also doubles as one of my greatest downfalls: I’m a highly-sensitive individual.
I’ve always been extremely empathetic and attuned to other’s emotions. If my mother was upset about something, I could sense it without her even saying a word. When a kid in the schoolyard was being bullied, I could feel their pain. It pained me to see someone else suffering.
Sensitive people tend to internalize negative energy and emotion. It’s hard enough navigating my own shit, let alone someone else’s…
Sensitivity serves me best in my relationships, it’s like my superpower! My intuition allows me to say the right thing at the right moment, and be supportive when someone needs me the most.
It can also be my kryptonite!
It’s so easy to take someone’s bad mood personally.
Has someone ever looked at you the wrong way, and instantly you begin fabricating this narrative in your head of what that moment meant?
“Oh my God, did he really just snub me like that?! What’s his problem? I bet this is because I didn’t answer his text earlier… Doesn’t he know I’m busy? I can’t believe he just gave me the cold shoulder!”
This kind of internal dialogue can go on for minutes, even hours! All because you misinterpreted one silly moment that likely had nothing to do with you.
I’m currently reading Eckhart Tolle’s bestselling novel, The Power of Now, and it’s given me some great insight into why this acute sensitivity is so problematic!
In moments like these, he says,
Either stop doing what you are doing, speak to the person concerned and express fully what you feel, or drop the negativity that your mind has created around the situation that serves no purpose whatsoever except to strengthen a false sense of self.
Often times, it’s hard to just stop! You forget about it for a few minutes, and then somehow, your mind wanders back into the negativity loop. Why?!
I think we’re addicted to pain! We get so accustomed to the negativity loop that it becomes our norm.
Eckart says dropping negativity should be as simple as dropping a hot piece of coal. You wouldn’t hold on to something that was burning in your hand, every neuron in your body would react to the pain and force you to let go of the coal!
Many patterns in ordinary unconsciousness, on the other hand, can simply be dropped once you know that you don’t want them and don’t need them anymore, once you realize that you have a choice, that you are not just a bundle of conditioned reflexes.
It’s okay to be sensitive! It’s normal to react to someone else’s mood or behavior. You’re allowed to feel hurt or upset. But acknowledge the emotion, talk about it, or simply drop it because you know it doesn’t serve you any good!
Live in the moment, in the now! When you sit there brooding over what might be you’re allowing negativity to govern your life, your thoughts, and your wellbeing.
Let it go.
Be the positive force our world needs right now.