Sensitivity. Everybody possesses it to some degree, but some of us were born with more than their fair share. Some of us could be described as ”hypersensitive.” I am one of those people, and on days like today, I largely see it as an affliction, though I have come to recognise that, even at those times, it is a blessing too.
What deeply wounds the hypersensitive soul? The very same things which feed and make it glow. Love. Music. The sky; the sea. The moon and stars above our heads, the earth that pulses beneath our feet. The voices that we hear in the wind and the crushing weight we bear from the lost look of a stranger. The inexplicable joy which ascends from our depths when passing an unfamiliar person on the street; the sorrow that descends when we pass the next. The contempt which consumes the mind when in one room of people, the sense of unity and contentment when sharing stolen moments within the next.
What does it mean to exude such sensitivity? It is to draw to yourself those that can feel the emotions which radiate from you; who wish to protect and love you, but to be turned away from those very people when they fear the depth they cannot then fathom. To be left in the cold because they are afraid of burning in your fire. It is to soar high above with feelings of such joy that only tears come close to expression of it; to eventually fall and writhe with the loss of it, wretched and empty.
It is to be told not to “take things so personally” or to “toughen up a bit.” It is to be the one that people cannot comprehend, but whom they turn to for understanding. It is to be the one who can see through the barriers of the broken hearted, who can bring the lost soul to a place they can vaguely recognise, while you yourself drift eternally, clutching your loss and sorrow to your heart but urged always forward by the sacred and the intricate.
It is to be loved, but to be alone. It is to be always drowning, even in the calmest, crystal waters. It is to see through every mist but to be deafened by the sound of heartstrings. It is to wish for the ethereal, but to be drawn into it so deeply that you struggle to find your way back to the cold metal of the earth, and once achieved, to be shocked by its cruel steel.
It is to feel suffocated by the tension between those around you; to be intoxicated by their excitement; inspired by their passions. It is to fall at the feet of the world’s sorrow and wish for a temporary release from your own compassion, as empathy and pity wrack your open heart. But it is to feel elated at the slightest change in air pressure, euphoric as you feel the rain about to break, enchanted and lost within a melody.
It is to be deeply cut by a word or lack of one. To withdraw into sorrow at not being heard, to weep at not being asked. It is to wish with the open heart of a child and to fear like the tangled screams of the damned.
Yes, to be sensitive is a heavy burden, a path unchosen but walked with fierce loyalty. It is to feel, always to feel; the hard, the joyful, the perceived, the real.
It is brutal and beautiful. It is a gift, a spell, a burden.
It is what we are.