Monday, April 7, 2014

Mondays: Staying Soft

Being tender and open is beautiful. As a woman, I feel continually shhh’ed. Too sensitive. Too mushy. Too wishy washy. Blah blah. Don’t let someone steal your tenderness. Don’t allow the coldness and fear of others to tarnish your perfectly vulnerable beating heart. Nothing is more powerful than allowing yourself to truly be affected by things. Whether it’s a song, a stranger, a mountain, a rain drop, a tea kettle, an article, a sentence, a footstep, feel it all – look around you. All of this is for you. Take it and have gratitude. Give it and feel love. — Zooey Deschanel
One of the strongest memories I have about school is a comment on my report card that said, "Adriene is a moody and sensitive child." I remember many people telling me and my parents that I was sensitive, that I cried too easily. I remember my third grade teacher telling me with great exasperation that I couldn't cry "over every little thing."

I remember biting my lip hard, year after year, learning to keep quiet when my feelings overflowed, when people said hurtful things, or even when I was moved by beauty. I held on tightly to things that moved me, that allowed me to feel emotions as fully as I wanted to in a socially acceptable way: stories, pictures, movies... I treasured them quietly. I put on as tough of an exterior as I could muster, and I learned to stand up and say my piece when I needed to. I was never bullied, nor do I allow myself to be bullied, but when my soft underbelly gets prodded, the experience preys on me for a long time afterward.

Just the other day, I sat at home and wished with all my might that I could be a tougher person, someone who wasn't affected by things so easily, who could go about life like so many other people do, uncaring of what other people's feelings or reactions, just getting on with life. It seems so easy for them, trampling through life, enjoying themselves, laughing at the what is lesser and weaker than them.

But I read the quote above, and it got me thinking.

Today, I am inspired by my sensitivity: it allows me to feel the undertones of a conversation that most people miss, and it allows me to know who needs comforting the most. It allows me to watch the world carefully, so I can share its stories with genuine, accurate words. It tells me how to speak to person in the way they need to hear things, and that's a pretty good thing to be able to do. Maybe that's why I'm so comfortable with my fibre crafts - I'm at home in the softness.

I am seeking out more like me. I've found a few, and I like being around them. It's a safe, gentle, happy place.

I won't wish to be like the others anymore.

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