The old me would shed tears over a sad commercial. The new me? A tragedy could unfold at my feet and my eyes would be as dry as a desert.
I was sleep deprived and energetically depleted. Two emotionally tough pregnancies and child rearing two little angels so close in age (while maintaining a job) took everything out of me. I had nothing left. Not one tear to spare.
I didn’t realize it at first. For a while I just assumed I was becoming less sensitive. I was hardening, toughening up. Motherhood was making an emotional rock out of me. Nothing could shake me.
I might have thought that toughness would feel like a nice break. A break from feeling so much and being so easily affected by the world around me.
But it didn’t feel nice. It felt disconnected and empty, like I was no longer tapped into the emotional electricity that connects the world.
It was odd and barren, and far less soft and loving.
The Burden of an Emotional Soul
When I was younger, I hated feeling so emotional.
I seemed to feel so much, all of the time. The insensitivity of others baffled me. I wanted to turn off my emotions and grow numb to the world around me.
Then maybe I’d feel less hurt, less disappointment and less shame.
I wanted to bottle up my overpowering emotions and seal them closed forever, never to feel pain again.
A lot of us feel that way. Like we’re too vulnerable. Too easily wounded. Too sensitive. Our emotions can feel like too much to bear.
We need to toughen up. Feel less. Soldier on.
If only we could turn off our nagging emotions, we’d thrive. We’d laugh in the face of fear!
But it’s not true. Turn off your emotions and you lose everything. All of who you are. The comforting way you give love and nurture others. The depth of your empathy. The generosity of your spirit. The beautiful light that sparks inside of you.
Letting Your Light Burn
My three-year-old daughter has never been a good sleeper. I was constantly sleep deprived during the first two years of her life. When her younger sister came along, between the two of them there were nights where I was up almost every single hour. Night after night after night. Month after month.
Sleep deprivation took on a whole new meaning.
It felt impossible. Inhumane. Painful.
And while I love every minute of being their mama, the year that followed my second daughter’s birth was the hardest year of my life. Because quite frankly, sleep deprivation is a bitch.
And to my surprise, so is being emotionally detached from the world. Being too tired to feel all that you’re used to feeling. All the love, all the joy, all the connection. It’s like a light within you gets smothered. Smothered in exhaustion, longing for comfort and relief so that it can one day burn again.
Your soft spots harden. Your empathy fades. Your vulnerability vanishes.
You find yourself longing for the emotions that once felt like such a tough burden to bear. Longing to feel that powerful spark again. The spark that connects you to the world, deepens your relationships, and keeps you on a constant search for messages of healing and kindness.
You long for the softness you used to resent. The softness that guided your heart like a compass, and often came with its fair share of tears.
The softness that lit you up from within and made you the person you authentically are.
Tapping Back In
In the last couple of months, things have improved. For the first time in three years, I am getting uninterrupted sleep (a gift only those with kids can truly understand). And while early motherhood will likely always be full of both love and exhaustion, sleep deprivation is no longer a part of my daily story.
And slowly but surely, I feel my softness returning.
One night recently, after being lured into You Tube clips of the most emotional episodes of America’s Got Talent, I found myself crying for the first time… for two hours straight. I couldn’t stop. The floodgates fell open as I got looped into one emotional story after another.
Each tear was a gift. A cleansing. A rekindling of the light within me that is still slowly healing from all the months of exhaustion. The light that guides my life, my choices, and the person I hope to be. The light that connects me to my soul and the all the beauty that’s around me. The light that softens me, allowing me to love to my full capacity.
The light that lets me know I’m truly alive and awake as a sensitive emotional being.
Your Emotions Are a Gift
They may seem like a lot at times. And they may carry a lot of fear and pain. But it’s through our pain that we learn about love and life and relationships.
It’s our pain that deepens our understanding of the world and the goodness that exists within it. It’s our pain that helps us know who we want to be and who we don’t want to be. It’s our pain that fuels our creativity and helps us to craft what we hope to share with the world.
And on the other side of pain is all the love and joy, in emotional abundance.
As a sensitive soul, you do not need to “overcome” or “deal with” your heightened emotions, you need to honor them.
Learn their triggers and respect their limitations. Step away when they feel like too much.
But let them bring you back to you. Your truths. Your depth. Your kindness. Your gentleness.
Let your emotions be your guide as they lead you towards the life you were destined for. Let them guide your passions, your actions and your choices.
With each tear I shed now, my heart fills with gratitude. So thankful to finally reconnect with my emotional soul.
May you always tap into the spark that connects us all and be so fully awake to the world.
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