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Friday Thoughts on Being Sensitive and Living with and Open Heart

March 26, 2010

It’s Friday again, time for some serious thoughts. Today, I was thinking a little bit about what I wanted to write. I thought of some clever ideas, but none of it stuck. I think I’d rather write from my heart than my head today.

So here’s what happened this week: Hope came by really briefly to say good-bye before moving to North Carolina. If you’ve read my post about Hope coming to live with us and then leaving a couple years later, you know that she is like my first child to me.

I am the sensitive type and, although it may sound contradictory, it is hard for me sometimes to express my affections and my feelings. It seems like there’s so much of it sometimes that it’s hard to give it a voice. Also, it makes me feel vulnerable. I don’t like that feeling.

It is easy to push away my feelings sometimes, because I think part of me is afraid I might fall apart if I face them. So, in spite of knowing that Hope was leaving, I didn’t really realize how I felt about it until the last moment. Because, it’s not like I saw her everyday anyway, right? We all have busy lives and getting together was a challenge. But I knew she was there and that I could call her to come over for dinner whenever I wanted to.

But then the day came when she was leaving and all my emotions bubbled to the surface. Believe me when I say it wasn’t pretty. I know I’m making myself sound like I’m quite the mess, but really, it’s not all that serious… I was just surprised. And I wanted to allow myself to feel it. Because I know that whenever I try to push things away, it is where things really get messy.

So yes, I cried several times throughout the day. I also cried a bit when she actually popped in with her friends in tow to say good-bye. Yes, I cried in front of her friends. Oh well…Also there were two other ‘kids’ (well, teenagers and they’re almost too old even for that label) who I’ve become very attached to as well. I hadn’t seen them for a while. One of them threw her arms around me as soon as she walked through the door and we hugged. And once again, I was struck by the amount of love that is in my heart for them. I just wish I could express it better sometimes.

And I thought about loving and being sensitive. It can be a precarious situation. But I am definitely always so inspired by people who live with open hearts. And I think that is what I want in life. But being sensitive, being around people can overwhelm me. So, I have to take really good care of myself if I want to be the person I want to be in my own life, and in relationships as well.

So, here are some ways that I do this:

Make sure I have time by myself. This is my number one non-negotiable in life. I feel like I lose my mind a little if I don’t have some time alone every day.
Writing in my journal. Sometimes it feels like a real treat to take the time and do this and that’s good. Sometimes it’s more of a necessity and I have to practically force myself to sit down and do it when I’d rather run around getting things done. But when I notice my thoughts are a bit more jumbled up than I’d like, I know that writing will help me sort through them.
Meditate. Again, sometimes it can feel like a treat, other times simply a necessity. And quite honestly, I haven’t done it for a while. But I think taking time to breathe is important and it doesn’t have to take long. This site is my one of my favorites with free mindfulness exercises ranging from 3 minutes to 19 minutes.
Read something that feeds my soul, like poetry.
Take a bath.
Take a nap. I used to think naps were boring. I am so of the opposite mindset now. Naps are pure luxury.
Do something creative. Knit a dishcloth, bake a cake, write a blog post, take a photo. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what, as long as it’s something I enjoy. Being involved in the act of creating is really uplifting.
Make myself a cup of tea.
Pet my cats or dog. Sometimes, days go by without me really enjoying my pets. I take care of their needs, I pet them absent-mindedly, I am glad when they’re okay, but I don’t really pay attention to them. I find when I’m stressed and just take 5 minutes to sit with Kitty, Splinter of Halo and watch how they are simply present and just enjoy the attention I pay them without questions or worry, it calms me down in seconds.
Write in my gratitude journal. I used to not get the point of these. I didn’t feel like writing down the good things in my life would make much difference. I have started to learn the impact of doing this regularly though. I find that it shifts my energy from thinking about what I haven’t done that day, or what has gone wrong, to what is good in my life. And if I do this before bed, I actually sleep better.

So, those are just some of the things that are some of my favorite ways to take care of myself. Hopefully you feel inspired to do something nice for yourself this weekend…


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