A Love Note to the “Hypersensitive,” “Too Nice,” & “Takers-of-It-Too-Personally.”

This post originally appeared at Elephant Journal

They say: You’re too sensitive. You take it too personally. You’re thin-skinned. You need to toughen up.

I hear: I have no idea how in touch with the world you are, nor can I grasp the depths of your empathy, from which I benefit. It’s like you can see colors that are naked to my eye.

You carry the awareness of others—of those far away, those unseen—in your heart on behalf of us all. You are the torchbearer of the forgotten. You bear the weight of others’ pain so they have a lifeline to the rest of humanity. You take on my share of pain when my words sting you. I can’t imagine the space you hold so that others can feel cared for and acknowledged, even when no one else can see that you’re doing this.

You bear witness so that we know, so we cannot forget. Your mere presence is equanimity. Your light is omnipresent. Your energy is generously given in service of your ability to intuit and sense even the most subtle change in weather, perspective, mind or heart.

You are a barometer for how we are doing as a species. You are a canary in the coal mine of our culture, and are wrecked by violent movies and the news of pain and mistreatment of fellow humans, animals and the earth.

I’m not aware that your sensitivity can cause you physical pain. If I knew the depths of your consideration, I’d be humbled and inspired. I don’t see or consider that you are a gift and should be treasured. I don’t know to pay attention. I don’t understand, even though I am the beneficiary of your grace.

I say: Thank you, friend. Rest and take care. We need you.

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