To all the sensitive children, I see you. When you cry out in sadness, anger and frustration, I see you. When your face turns red and hot, your eyes start filling with tears, and your voice shakes, I still see you.
I see you because I was you. A child who wore their heart on their sleeve and who felt things deep in their soul. A child who sometimes cried for no reason, who couldn’t always explain what I was feeling and why. A child who was told “you’re fine” more than “it’s okay to cry.”
I was like you, but we were a little different. Because unlike you I was not as strong and fearless. In fact, I was not nearly as comfortable with my emotions as you are now. I watch you express yourself and wonder what would have happened if I had done the same; if I had been free and open with my emotions even when people told me not to be. I wish I had embraced my emotions the way you do. I wish I had realized that being sensitive was a gift rather than a burden.
While it can be loud and at times unrelenting, it is also powerful. That emotion inside of you is what will connect you to yourself and to others; it is what will help you open your mind. Through feeling that emotion you will move closer to mastering empathy, love and compassion. Through that emotion you will model for other people (adults and children) that sometimes it’s okay to not be okay.
When I see you expressing those things deep inside I think about how much I wish I had done the same. Instead of letting my emotions flow, I questioned the meaning of my tears. I allowed others to define what I was feeling and when I was allowed to feel that way. Instead of using my voice and speaking my truth, I pushed it deep inside and held those feelings tight.
I wasn’t brave like you then. I let my fear of what other people would say or do get in the way of being who I truly am. I let the pressure of other voices prevent me from embracing my true self.
But when I look at you now I see it, that strength, reflected back to me. Through you I see why it’s okay to cry and why we all must sit with our emotions from time to time. Through you I see that these feelings each of us has, the ones that are so raw when we are young and so often subdued when we grow older, are actually beautiful and necessary parts of this life.
So the next time you cry don’t listen to the people who tell you not to. Don’t let anyone quiet your voice out of their own discomfort. And next time you need to yell out to the world yell with purpose because soon you will need that voice to fight for what you believe in and to remind others that they too can express themselves freely and openly. Next time someone says you are “too sensitive” or “too emotional,” just remember there is no such thing. Because you are a deeply feeling person and that is something you can’t and shouldn’t change.
And as you grow and realize that there are people struggling with their emotions, with that expression that comes so naturally to you, remember that you have the power to help them find their voice. So when you meet those people throughout your journey embrace them, let them know you see them too. Remind them that you’ve been there, that we all have, because feeling is human.