I found it interesting when researching the definition of sensitivity, that many of the perspectives given were from a negative point of view; like easily hurt, weak, or offended.
When I got to other definitive words further down, it was perfect: the quality of being sensitive is the capacity of a sense organism to respond to stimulation. Oxford Dictionary said that sensitivity was the ability to understand other people’s feelings. And my thesaurus gave the following words as similar: awareness, feeling, subtlety, sympathy, acuteness, consciousness, delicacy, receptiveness, susceptibility, affected, and impressionable.
My sensitivity was aglow. What a lovely group of words highlighting a disposition that holds so much potential to contribute.
To be sensitive is to be aware of what’s going on around and within one’s self. It is to notice and subtly feel what stimulation is asking for a more acute consciousness.
There’s a phrase called sensitivity bias, which has myriads of scholars searching for why individuals, through the years, answer questions or moments truthfully, only partly truthfully or downright exaggerate or lie. It is complex why someone can’t take the time to sit in awareness and have some personal values out of which to answer the questions of life freely. It seems there are layers of self-appreciation and deprecation that might play a role. Clearly, when something large is trying to take control of anything from a country to a relationship, sometimes sensitivity ducks out of the way, allowing the louder to take over.
The art of sensitivity, as I call it, is a way of being generous to one’s self, to one’s heart and feelings, having compassion, love, kindness, and understanding for others. But it doesn’t end there. The art of sensitivity takes this “way of being” a step further by encouraging the sensitive formation of heart-felt and mindful imaginations into a new kind of language, not weighed or measured, but, instead, seen and felt as a painting or picture.
To allow imagination, inspiration and intuition to arise from this place of sensitivity, is to allow the art of the heart to flow. Are they all true? It is not the question in this exercise. The exercise is to allow a space to be held open where one can be sensitive, where one can feel deeply, where one is not trying to control the narrative or the outcome, but instead allows the heart to begin speaking.
Somewhere recently, I heard a person say we need the poets now, and I thought yes, we do. We need to lovingly re-envision a world that begins with sensitivity and feelings, not just thoughts and plans and details. Of course, I am very, very organized when I need to be, so it is not one over the other, it is how one can begin….being open and simply noticing with the beautiful, sensitive organ we all possess called the human heart.
To sit quietly each day, not to think or feel inspired or fill the space with insights, but to clear the space, to watch and notice our thoughts, as just that, tools for our toolboxes, when needed. To sit and clear the space of feelings and emotions, that can keep stories going on biases going on for lifetimes, is also essential to open this space of sensitivity.
The art of sensitivity means to enter into emptiness in order to be receptive, not to words and story lines, but to a place of awareness and consciousness so much larger than anyone of us. The art of sensitivity is to be aware that there is a flow of life implicit in everything and that if we, but take a few moments each day, to sit with it, open hearted and mindful, new pictures will arise, new languages and ways of speaking to one another truthfully in daily life can unfold, because we are all part of this life together.
The illusion of power over others, lying to each other, saying only what makes everyone comfortable, etc. is to deny the art of birthing this sensitivity. No one needs to see it, or hear it, but what matters is that each of us, each in our own way, begins re-creating a new world culture of love and peace out of the heart’s silence and beauty.
Love is real. It is not just for families or couples. It awaits to be born in all aspects of life on Earth. To commit to love, which means seeing the reflection of one’s self in another and they in you, means that the only way to begin making new decisions, creating new codes of ethics, new values, opening new doors of virtues, is to see your heart as connected to everyone else’s heart.
It is time to pull the weeds of racism, sexism, authoritarianism, etc. and plant gardens of genuine interest in each other where friendship truly unfolds, and all it takes is time.
I am not ignorant of history, I just don’t want to live it anymore.
I want to create a world where true wisdom and beauty of life has a place.
It is not new in so many ways, it simply hasn’t had a voice in the places that would change the world.
It is a voice, not speaking against anything, it is a voice that, out of its sensitivity, needs to bring the living wisdom of ages and a cultural renewal that says: we all are born into this family of humanity all over the Earth. There is a complex, living, worldwide family tree that we all connect into and grow out of.
Where the concept took hold that someone or anyone is better than anyone else confounds the heart. There are many things that confuse the heart’s innate wisdom.
I think the best way to begin is to sit in vulnerable silence, no thoughts, no words, no emotions and let the openness of being human in all its sensitivity have room to breathe.
As far as I can tell, that’s the first step to birthing a beautiful new culture of loving life as one large circle of human beings. I’m thinking, also, that there are more steps to come…..
First you make a cup of tea and sip it.
Then you sit in silence with all the rest of us.
written by Jillian RoseMary LaBelle Sophie
One Reply to “The Art of Sensitivity”
a lovely essay on sensitivity…thank you! <3