• Ashley Urban

Are You Misinterpreting the Word 'Sensitive'?

If you are highly sensitive, you are not weak, you are in tune with a more delicate and quiet frequency, and that is a true gift. Use it with wisdom, love and compassion.

Highly sensitive...moí?!



For as long as I can remember, my mom has said, with much exaggeration that I am "extremely sensitive". Growing up, this offended me deeply every time because I considered myself highly resilient and I believed that I was strong, especially considering that I had been swimming through a constant wave of traumatic events, death, loss and all manner of familial chaos from a very young age. Her words about my sensitivity continually hurt my feelings...(sensitive much?! Okay, maybe).

I understand now, that as a child I mistook the word sensitivity for weakness. It took me so many years to understand that being sensitive does not equate to being fragile. In fact, my adulthood has taught me that my sensitivity is my biggest strength. My sensitivity is why I have so much empathy for others, why I find stirring beauty in the smallest things, why I am so deeply moved by the designs of nature, why I want to share so much of what I experience with so many, why I laugh, smile and dance so often, why my brain is wired to ravenously consume, create and share, music, art, writing and culture, why I am endlessly curious about the delicacies of the world, and why I want to lift up the people in my life and show them their inner light and all of the magnificent things on this earth that we should be grateful for.

Do these characteristics resonate with you? Then maybe, my dear, you too have been blessed with this wonderful ability to feel the world around you in a beautifully perceptive way. I hope you allow yourself to wear that with pride instead of shame.

I now know that my sensitivity has given me the greatest gift in human existence. The ability to love myself, my life, and the world around me despite the imperfections and injustices. If you are highly sensitive, you are not weak, you are in tune with a more delicate and quiet frequency, and that is a true gift. Use it with wisdom, love and compassion.

Perhaps the words highly sensitive should be exchanged for 'highly perceptive'. I'd wager to say that most of the highly perceptive friends I keep tend to be overly critical of themselves, with generally self sabotaging expectations of perfectionism for themselves and their every action. Such behavior can be quite exhausting and self defeating, as you well know. If you feel you are living in this landscape, I do hope you come to realize that your sensitivity is something to be cherished and shared, rather than held in contempt and hidden away. Cherish this gift in high regard, and you'll begin to see yourself in a more compassionate light...and that's going to be a gift to everyone in your path.


Yours truly,

AU