For a long time I thought that my high level of sensitivity, introspection and empathy were weaknesses. I don’t really remember a distinctive moment when I realized that those very characteristics I considered weaknesses, have been strengths in disguise this whole time…but I want to say it happened within this past year. But who knows? What is time anyway? Lol. All I know is that some sort of evolution happened and all of a sudden I’m in a headspace where I am able to comprehend it.
I struggle everyday with the ebb and flow of my feelings…and oddly enough, I’m grateful for it. I feel things so deeply and think about things so thoroughly that it can be overwhelming. Ever experience being pummeled by an underestimated wave? Yeah, it’s a bit like that. Even as I am in the midst of a wave as I write this, not knowing which way is up or down, I find a sense of clarity…because I’m reminded that I know how to swim. I’m also reminded that I’ve established roots that I can use to navigate myself back when needed. These days, when people ask me if I’m okay in tumultuous moments, my answer is usually: no, but I will be.
I’d rather experience intense waves of emotion than exist in indifference…because I’ve been there before. There was a point in my life where I didn’t know if I could allow myself to feel…for anything or anyone. I let others tell me how to feel and what to think for so long that I ended up forgetting who I was. YIKES. Dark times, am I right? But with time, I relearned the following:
- How to have an opinion, whether negative or positive about things, ideas and people
- That having a unique and strong opinion is valid
- Not only who I was but to appreciate myself and my accomplishments
- That I have no reason to apologize for any of it (as long as I’m being respectful of others of course)
My ability to be passionate about a concept, to care so very deeply for someone and to be so driven towards a goal…is ultimately a gift (and a curse lol). These tendencies have shown me my best memories and my most impactful lessons. I’ve come to acknowledge that the frequency in which my thoughts and feelings emanate from me have attracted the unique experiences and relationships that I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of.
In the past, I coped with negativity by attempting to place blame, whether it be on circumstance, others or myself (emphasis on the latter). It seemed easier at the time, but that’s because I didn’t know how to swim. I didn’t know how to navigate the wave. So I dragged myself and others down with me. Not ideal. However, the current wave I’m treading through is taking me somewhere I’ve never been before and while it’s anxiety-inducing at times, I’m going to let it…because I know I can keep myself afloat.
Learning to be okay with not being okay all the time has been a catalyst to my growth process. In the words of the Queen Bee herself, “The tears we cry let us know we alive.” It’s so true. The most impactful learning moments are created when forced to face raw emotion. You feel most alive when you physically feel the emotion coursing through you. At least that’s how it is for me. I’ve joked about always having been a cry baby, but in reality it is a symbol of my emotional intelligence. I’ve learned that the act of crying is a vehicle for thoughts and emotions. Letting go of the ego and allowing vulnerability is where I find my strength. It’s energy in motion my friends, we must let it flow through us and allow ourselves to absorb all that it has to teach us, even though it’s not always a pretty site to see. Everyone else is doing the same thing we are: figuring it out. Your puffy eyes and red nose are a visual representation of progress ❤
“The most beautiful people are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
– Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
To close out this train of thought, I’ve recently been reminded of the beauty in loss and it’s equal parts frightening and enlightening. That concoction of emotion is exciting. I’m looking forward to what it will bring into my life.
To those who have come and gone: I recognize that I am/was a part of your journey towards growth and I am not angry or resentful about that. You are a breathing, moving, thinking and feeling person just like me…navigating through discovering needs and wants in this thing called life. I am sincerely grateful that our lives intertwined, even if just briefly, regardless of the outcome. You are just as much a chapter of growth for me as I have been for you, so thank you.