Thumbnail: Erica Magugliani
Sensitive people, I’m looking at you.
I’m tired of us calling ourselves “too emotional”, “irrational”, and “weak”. I’m tired of phrases like “toughen up”, “man up”, and “don’t be so sensitive”. With all of the violence, cruelty, oppression, and harm that occurs every day on this planet, I think it’s about time that we start recognizing our sensitive natures as nothing less than a superpower.
In order to remind you of how magnificent, how beneficial, your sensitivity is, I wrote this manifesto, both for you and for me. I’m tired of hiding my gift, and I know that you are, too.
So, sensitive people, lovers of animals and plants and children, compassionate caregivers, helping professionals, anyone with a giant heart: please enjoy this manifesto for the sensitive soul.
I am not weak. Even when little things, such as violent TV or killing bugs, affect me, my sensitivity is not a weakness.
I do not need to toughen up. Violence and cruelty sadden me, and yet, my grief gives me power to speak out against those who normalize violence and cruelty.
May I understand the difference between toughening up and growing a thick skin. Holding myself with love and compassion will allow me to grow a thicker skin, so that others’ hurtfulness doesn’t destroy me; toughening up, however, means nothing more than tolerating cruelty.
May I understand the difference between self-pity and self-compassion. Self-compassion is understanding why we feel the way that we feel, and holding ourselves in that feeling. Self-pity, however, arises when we manipulate others into filling an inner void for us.
I will honor my body and my physical needs. Meaning– if I’m tired, I will rest. I will not ignore my body’s signals for the sake of productivity or pleasing others.
I will not treat myself like a machine, an object, or a product.
I honor my emotions. As much as I can, I will cry when I need to cry. I will express my emotions in a safe container in the solitude of my own home.
Likewise, I will take care of myself. I’m not required to take on more of my emotions than I can reasonably handle at one time.
My sensitivity is a gift to the planet, no matter how many people don’t appreciate it. I am more than allowed to value and cherish this gift, even if the world has conditioned me to be insensitive.
My sensitivity heals the planet. My sensitivity can help to heal survivors of cruelty and oppression, and that includes myself.
Sensitivity breeds love and compassion, which the world desperately needs more of. I have the privilege of bringing these gifts to the world in any way in which I feel called.
Having emotions does not make me weak.
Wanting to slow down does not make me lazy. I often find my greatest strength and creativity when I allow myself not to rush.
I feel not only my own pain but that of all living beings, and that makes me an incredibly strong person.
If you feel called, please bookmark this page so that you can return to this manifesto any time you need to. In order to remind yourself that your sensitivity is a gift, you may want to reread these statements in situations such as:
- Disasters or crises, such as the one the world finds itself in now
- Feeling used, beat down, steamrolled, walked on, etc. by another person’s insensitivity or thoughtlessness
- After an encounter that left you feeling emotionally drained
- When you’re feeling particularly sensitive, such as after watching a violent TV show or seeing an emotionally taxing story on the news
- Anytime you begin to believe that your sensitivity is a flaw rather than a gift.
If you would like more info and resources on empaths and highly sensitive people, I recommend:
- Boundary bootcamp
- Free empath morning ritual journal
- Business coaching for sensitive souls
- Mini-course: Goodbye, Overwhelm
- Sensitive U: YouTube & Podcast for sensitive souls
- Blog for highly sensitive people