The Power of a Sensitive Heart

Happy New Year!
Welcome to Doodle Therapy!

I had planned to write about the new year with positive and creative intentions, but have not been able to get this topic out of my thoughts.  It selected itself for the first post of the new year, and for whatever reason, maybe it needs to be heard.  

We live in a society that has far greater respect and admiration for toughness and harshness.  Gentleness, sensitivity and compassion are considered by many to be signs of weakness and make anyone possessing these qualities, a target for criticism.

You learn early in life to hide or deny these qualities or toughen up.  A lifetime of playing defense to hide or deny who your really are, takes an enormous amount of energy and a heavy toll on one's spirit.  Not only that, it means that you have bought into the belief that these qualities are really faults or flaws in your personality that should be disowned, which is even more damaging.

The truth is, if you are sensitive, it is your greatest gift.  But, it can be a double-edged sword and can also bring you the greatest grief.

Being a sensitive soul may make you more easily hurt.  But I wonder... are sensitive people really thin-skinned, or is it that they are more likely to be the target of thoughtless or harsh criticism?  When you are constantly subjected to pain, it either becomes super sensitive or calloused.  And, Isn't extreme toughness just a calloused facade?

I believe that sensitivity is a strength that ,has far more power than toughness.  It is sensitivity that is:
  • your source of intuition
  • what enables you to recognize and pick up on the subtleties - to get the subtext
  • your source of compassion, empathy and kindness
It is the sensitive souls that are able to sense what someone else may really mean, need or feel.  They know when something is wrong long before anyone else.

Yes, sensitive types are more in tune with their emotions, maybe to the discomfort of others.  And yes, quicker to cry.  Is that because they are weak, or is it that their emotions are closer to the surface.

Being a sensitive soul, I've been told over and over, you're too sensitive, you shouldn't care so much, you shouldn't take things to heart or let things affect you so much.  Should, should, should!  It could just make you want to scream!

There finally came a point in my life when I wasn't willing to listen anymore to the comment "you're too sensitive".  The turning point came when I was able to simply and firmly say to someone making that "accusation", "or maybe you're just too insensitive".  My "accuser" was silenced - at least momentarily; but never brought it up again.

It took a long time to truly appreciate that my sensitivity is one of my best qualities.  It's the foundation of everything else that I am.  During my self-help, "perfecting the product" days, I worked very hard on eradicating that perceived imperfection.  How ironic, that all my attempts at perfecting, were really creating more imperfections.

I now try to remember to respond to that "accusation" with, "and that's what I like about me best!"

So, what does all this have to do with creativity?  For one, I believe that art that comes from the heart is your best work - it's coming directly from the source and has the ability to connect deeply with others.

If you are blocking your sensitivity and who you are, you are blocking the flow of creativity.  When that protective layer is pulled away and your heart is allowed to open fully, the light and beauty of what is inside will spill over, infusing your work with your true spirit.

Who you really are is what is in your heart, not what is in your head.

The world has its place for the tough minded, but now, more than ever, we need the strength of sensitive hearts who have the ability to bring more peace, empathy and compassion into this world.  There's nothing wrong with being tough, but we need to balance and elevate the value of those with strong, sensitive hearts.

If you are one, find and surround yourself with other like-hearted souls so you can securely start to shed the protective layers blocking your light. Collectively, we have something valuable to give to this world.

Wishing you a new year filled with love, light and creativity!

Happy Doodling!