Understanding the Sensitive Heart.

Via Carolyn Riker
on Jun 17, 2013
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via Cindy on Pinterest
via Cindy on Pinterest

Now and again, it is necessary to seclude yourself among deep mountains and hidden valleys to restore your link to the source of life. Breathe in and let yourself soar to the ends of the universe; breathe out and bring the cosmos back inside. Next, breathe up all fecundity and vibrancy of the earth. Finally, blend the breath of heaven and the breath of earth with your own, becoming the Breath of Life itself.     ~ Morihei Ueshiba.

As I dip inward to find answers, I navigate the center of a large ocean of feelings.

I can easily become exhausted around the banter of noisy egos. I don’t enjoy superficial but flourish in meaningful. I’d rather have silence, a good book and some dark chocolate than attend a party.

I’m not “cool” or “hip.” I don’t dress flashy or in-style.

Fitting in, is difficult. I sort of blend but I don’t mix well. I can play the extrovert but prefer my introverted heart. The former leaves me exhausted.

I’m also extremely sensitive. I could hear a mouse fart in the next room. When hurt, my heart bleeds black and blue and I can feel your bruises too. I can hear emotions hiding in the shadow of false bravado. I can see when eyes truly twinkle or blink back a tear.

It’s exhausting to feel all of the time, so I am hanging out in low gear. It is a space above an imaginary watermark. It’s not an easy place to be. I tread the water in my soul. I hide under a lily pad, peeking out occasionally but mostly staying tucked in. The water is tepid and the weight of the lily pad is comforting.

So for now, I insert a straw into a cloud and sip. I sip the solitude like the crema of espresso and hold on tight to the weirdness of who I am and what I feel.

It’s okay to rest. I need to rest in this quietness and give myself permission to recalibrate my heart of emotions. It’s a sandstorm of chipping away debris and filling it with love. My inner camera lens seeks truth as I burn through my karma.

My overly sensitive radar leads to miscommunication. It happens. Words are spoken and I misinterpret it as harsher than it might be. Perhaps it was harsh but then I take it a step further, jump off a cliff and ruminate the meaning into an introspective hell. 

He, she, it blamed me for, said to me, [Fill in the blank]. 

It doesn’t matter. Sometimes when this happens it’s not my stuff, it’s theirs. Accepting responsibility for my actions is enough to sort through.

Let it go and let it be. Let the muddy colors change to persimmon. Let the breeze caress the harsh words. Let the birds channel serotonin to my tired synapsis.

I need to let myself know, I have the power to stop the thought process as well as the ability to fuel the pain.

I will listen to the wind. Write. Sit in a sunspot even on a cloudy day and recharge my heart.

“Solitude matters, and for some people, it’s the air they breathe.”  ~ Susan Cain

It’s a dose of nature that often settles and heals me. I walk through my tiny garden and the flowers, mixed with weeds, often speak to me; poised and tranquil, they bend with the breeze but remain standing. The rain makes them heavy and the sun lifts their buds. It’s a walking meditation as I methodically watch the process unfold.

Retreat, restore, regroup, relish the silence and breathe.

I either fully trust or tiptoe along the edges and fear trust. I send and receive mixed messages especially to those who have the same issues. It’s not a coincidence we are given the same lesson. Instead, it is a wake-up call to step back and sit with the mixed feelings and learn.

I’m giving myself a chance to tap into where do I begin and end? I learn more each time and let go of those thorn-like expectations of how it should be. I reflect and see. Give and take what is needed.

It’s an infinite recycling of refinement.

I love to give and I cherish my friends. I’m protective and will defend like a lioness would her cubs. I need to do the same for myself and protect my tenderness; Step aside from the mainstream flow and trust my genuine self.

All the answers lie within my heart.

I can’t actually climb to a cave, meditate and eat berries. Instead I have to go through each day doing the norm. This is where I find who and what the real pillars are versus the illusions.

Actually it’s all an illusion, but I live in this world, therefore I must occasionally carve a small imaginary cave and retreat. It’s not a negative thing. It’s proactive and protective like letting a nasty gash heal, however slowly, it teaches me patience.

two roses

I’m in a sacred moment with my thoughts and it brings a smile of inner compassion. The frankincense burns and protects the space. Earlier a goldfinch peered into the window. He seemed to be checking on me. Thunder rumbled in the distance: nature’s drums. The universe is watching and I’m not alone.

Solitude is different than loneliness as the rain washes my soul and the sun dries it.

Outside there’s a stillness of being in between time as I lay down my heart in the folds of a sunset colored rose, aptly named, Peace.



Like The Mindful Life on Facebook.

Ed: Sara Crolick


About Carolyn Riker

Carolyn is an educator, counselor, writer and a poet who finds comfort and balance in nature and music. Introspective, forthright, kind and compassionate, she intertwines life with being real. She also writes for Journey of the Heart and Rebelle Society. Carolyn can be reached at Facebook.


59 Responses to “Understanding the Sensitive Heart.”

  1. Vikki says:

    lovely piece of writing, don't know how i stumbled across this but i did and think i was meant to read it, sounds like exactly what's in my head but i couldn't articulate it like you have, thanking for finding the words for me and reassuring that i'm not the only one who thinks am going crazy with it all sometimes, gratitude gratitude xxx

  2. cda says:

    Beautiful, Beautiful!! Yes.

  3. bneal817 says:

    Ah, yes… I feel this one.

  4. Jenny says:

    Beautifully written. While I am not an introvert, I have a sensitive heart. Mother Nature renews and restores me when I am weary.

  5. thepoliticalvagina says:

    This is me, thank you xx

  6. Maryse says:

    Thank you so much. Reading your words is of great comfort to me since it brings me light and support. I am very grateful to you.
    Best wishes

  7. Margee says:

    Really beautiful! I had no idea there were so many of us introverted yoginis. I too tend to bruise easily with other people, but have recently been finding it feels good to be courageous and risk exposing myself to others.

  8. smallgrl says:

    Wow. Having a particularly 'sensitive heart' day and really resonating with this. Beautifully written. Thank you.

  9. Guest says:

    Bowing to you.

    Please continue to write. We need your introspective voice. As a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), it's a good reminder that we are to love ourselves "as is"; blending is as beautiful as mixing.

  10. scintillatingspeck says:

    So pleased to read of holding on tight to the weirdness, seeking the soothing times and places, and the astonishing auditory talent to hear mice farting in the next room. Nodding sensitively along.

  11. Blacksheepyoga.com says:

    Thank you for writing this. I loved this line especially, "When hurt, my heart bleeds black and blue and I can feel your bruises too. I can hear emotions hiding in the shadow of false bravado. I can see when eyes truly twinkle or blink back a tear."

    A gift to be so sensitive, but still not well-understood I think.

    Thank you!
    Renee – Blacksheepyoga.com

  12. Dan says:

    I find little comments by men..If any.I have always had a sensitve heart and was taught to be brave and tough.It's so hard for anyone to live true to themselves.I'm trying now but hover between an existence of solitude and loneliness..hoping for some relief.Thanks Carolyn.I too, am looking and hearing goldfinches out my window:)

  13. Annie says:

    SO beautiful. Resonated to my core. I have quite a sensitive heart, but have spent years building a wall and refusing to sit with my openness, allow, savor, and nurture it. I instead spend time distracting my mind, not giving any chance for my wall to disintegrate. This piece was a calling to me. Thank you!

  14. Kirsten says:

    Thank you so much for this. I'm in media in Colorado Springs, and this past week and a half has been overwhelming and heart-bruising with the Black Forest Fire. I shall be blanket-cave-making this weekend.

  15. Marie says:

    Your words live in my heart. The flows, waves and rhythms that you so beautifully describe, are known to me. It's like walking in the woods and hearing someone sing a song I myself composed and haven't sung to anyone. So timely for me, I am just now learning to live whole, not censoring myself and living in only accepted fragments any more. It is so exhausting, to feel everything, all of it, in the wide spectra of human emotions. But I'm learning to let it flow through me, instead of going with it. Of all the blogs I've read this week, this one stays like the experience of a sunset in orange and purple. Thank you.

  16. Kathy says:

    Thanks for beautifully putting into words what I feel everyday. I too am an HSP. I feel everything so intensely that it is overwhelming. The bad is almost impossible to bear but the good is mind-blowingly awesome. I often need time to recover.

  17. Carolina says:

    Absolutely beautiful. I can relate on all levels!

  18. Mariana says:

    Beautifully written! It resonated deeply with me.

  19. Jennifer says:

    This piece is spot on Carolyn.

  20. Andrea says:

    This writing touches a lot of places in my personal Id, much more so than I could express myself. I read a book once 'Quiet', it was also enlightening.

  21. Billie says:

    I didn’t know anyone else felt the same way. I always say that I am an introvert trying to live in a world full of extroverts. I live there when I have to, but I can breathe in my introvert world. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  22. nicoledavidsohn says:

    This was amazing. Exactly what I needed right now and I only wish I could write like this. You are an inspiration! I'll follow everything you write now! Thank you.

  23. jenspeaksatlast says:

    Wow, wow, wow. Speaks directly to me. Nice to know another soul goes through the same daily battle.

  24. Valerie says:

    You echo my sentiments with razor-fine precision. Thank you for your beautiful words. It is comforting to know I am in good company. Much love to all my tuned-in, sensitive sisters and brothers.

  25. 4EverGreen says:

    This touched me so deeply. Resonates so deeply. Thank you.

  26. whispersforwellness says:

    I needed to read this today! Thank you! Absolutely beautiful…

  27. Maya says:

    Lovely. I experience it on a daily basis, so I have to memorize everything you wrote here in order to remember it and use it each time. Thank you!

  28. Maryn says:

    I once wrote that solitude is like an empty glass resounding. This captures that beautifully.

  29. mariceljimenez says:

    This is poetry! Lovely. So much truth in these words.

  30. naomi says:

    This describes me. Written so beautifully thank you.

  31. Krescent says:

    Absolutely amazing while I was reading this I felt like a wrote a letter to myself years ago and just reading this. This is so me!

  32. Theresa says:

    It’s always so refreshing to my heart, my mind and soul to hear stories pertaining to other people’s lives that are just like me. Growing up I always knew I was different. And I never understood why and I grew up hating how sensitive I was, even into adulthood. I thought to be so sensitive and emotional was a character flaw and everyone would always tell me “you’re too sensitive” or “you need to toughen up”. Anytime “it” was referred to it was always negative. It hasn’t been until probably just the last 5 years or so that I began finding articles on being an empath, that I finally understood myself and that what I am could actually be seen as a gift. Yes, there are often times where it still feels like a curse, but at least now I know I’m not alone, there’s nothing wrong with me and that there are things I can do to protect my sensitivity. Now I know when I’m overwhelmed, or can’t handle people, when I need to be alone, that it’s part of who I am. It’s always so refreshing to read articles and see part of myself in them and say “hey, that’s me!” Or “me too!” When you grow up feeling different and your gift is made to feel like you’re broken, to find out you’re really not, it’s a wonderful and freeing feeling.

  33. Erin Evans says:

    Thank you. I really needed this today.

  34. cory says:

    I want to know if I will ever move out of California live up in orgen and Washington with my mom and rest of my family. And will i find a place to live for me my husband and 3 chihuahuas and 2 horses

  35. Zach says:

    I too feel the same way. I have also learnt that if you try to let go of the ego, the sensitivity will still be there but not as heightened. We have to learn to let go of the desires that affect the ego. I always knew there were there's like me, but always seemed alone on my path fighting an unseen battle on my own. My own family can't e en relate to me when I try to articulate how I am feeling. I almost feel like I'm in a constant state of depression and my anxiety goes through the roof cuz I feel like no one understands the bigger picture. I yearn to be around like minded people but seems to be a detriment docent there isn't too many of us that over sense. My intuition is growing stronger as is my reading of other peoples energy. I feel as if we are like this for a reason and must come together somehow to help wake everyone else up. I've been awake for a while now but have little resources other than this gift.

  36. kimberlywestrope says:

    This is lovely. Thank you for sharing this. It's good to know there are many of us out there.

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