Thursday, February 14, 2019

An Open Letter to Sensitive Souls

Oh my dear sensitive soul,

You’re not too much to handle. You can offer so much.

Sometimes the world is too much for you. Perhaps more often than not. The sounds and the lights and the voices become a harsh and unwelcome hurricane of stimulus—the walls cave in and your head and heart  pounds and the only thing that can calm you is isolation, or headphones, or sleep.

You’re not crazy. You’re not selfish for withdrawing to yourself and to silence. You are taking care of yourself, your body and your mind, and one day those around you will come to understand that. Especially if they love you. Have grace with those who are trying to understand. And hope with them, because this pain won’t last forever.

Your sensitivity, though it may seem like a curse, is a gift.

You notice subtle things that not many people see…In the midst of a crowd, you hear conversations and phones typing and glasses clinking and songs playing. You feel the bass of the music in the core of your body, the sweeping of someone’s arm against yours, the rubbing of cloth against your skin. In the midst of a forest, you hear the calls of animals that are soft and vague, even the wind combing through the brush and the leaves, and you can virtually feel the life of the woods, things growing and dying. It is a gift, a superpower, to be able to feel and hear and see so many small and yet extraordinary things.

You feel so deeply…Your love and your passion and your hurt dive deep within your soul, and as much as it may overwhelm you, you are experiencing life in an achingly full and beautiful way. The process of life and growth will guide you in understanding how to live through and with these feelings in a healthy and whole way. All you have to do is seek that understanding.

You may experience guilt and shame in a way that sinks into your very bones—things you’ve thought, things you’ve said, things you’ve done, don’t fade away over time but continually grasp you by the throat. Those things can only haunt you, however, if they remain in your mind; if they do, they continue to define you. Maybe try visualizing them all, one by one, thrown into a bonfire that crackles at dusk beside a still lake. Watch them as they crack and crumple and turn to ash. If they come up again, watch it again as it dives into the fire, and listen to the burning of everything that holds you back from a beautiful and whole life.

And perhaps most significantly, you feel others’ emotions as though they were your own. Someone walks in the door and you are hit with the force of their inner turmoil or joy. Just watching the face of stranger in a coffee shop illuminates their emotion; you notice when someone lies about feeling okay. Surrounded by a group of people, you may be inundated with the weight of their collective feelings to the point at which you feel like you’re drowning; sometimes, it may only take one person to send you spinning.

Sometimes, the world is too much. 

It’s okay.

Your sensitivity doesn’t define you.

Your heart—your sacred, beautiful heart—does.

Let that be a reason not to harden yourself. Darling, never lose your sensitivity.

~ Hannah 

"Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place." ~ Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.


  1. What a beautiful and encouraging post. This is something I struggle with, and I loved reading this. <3

  2. <3 <3 <3 I didn’t know how badly I needed this until I read it...

  3. Thank you for this. I needed the encouragement. <3