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. Amy says:

    Thank you both. I agree that this piece was a lovely, peaceful articulation of how I often feel and what I often need. It's important to gain self-awareness so that we can give ourselves what we need and not view our unique qualities as something less-than in a world that might not always view us with the same sensitivity and nuanced depth as we tend to see others and the world. It can take a lot of energy to take things in in the way we do, and I think that requires more downtime to let things settle again. Thanks again.

  3. cda says:

    Beautiful, Beautiful!! Yes.

  4. kat says:

    You and I are alike; I suspect there are more of us. I requested your friendship on FB – no pressure – I don't know why (or I can't figure out why) you can't send a message when you request a friendship. It's like showing up at one's house UNinvited. 😉 I'm a Scorpio btw. I am thinking you may be a Gemini/Cancer? I would think you have to have water in your chart. 😉

  5. bneal817 says:

    Ah, yes… I feel this one.

  6. Carolyn Riker says:

    Thank you Vikki for your kind words! I often stumble across articles too, that I'm supposed to read at that exact moment. It's what we need to hear. Glad my words resounded with your lovely heart!

  7. Carolyn Riker says:

    Thank you!

  8. Carolyn Riker says:

    Hi bneal…glad you could tap into the feelings. It's the heart that matters!

  9. Carolyn Riker says:

    Hi Amy, Thanks for writing and sharing your lovely comments! Really appreciate it!

  10. Carolyn Riker says:

    Hi Kat, I think there are many of us sipping those clouds and sorting through it all. The FB thing is strange….you can send a message but I think they charge now or it gets diverted to 'other' comment section. I have lots of water in my chart and it swims in my heart too. Appreciate you sharing!

  11. 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.

  12. thepoliticalvagina says:

    This is me, thank you xx

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Carolyn Riker says:

    Hi Margee…I think there are more out there too…in our quiet, courageous way we make a difference. Thanks!

  16. smallgrl says:

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

  17. Carolyn Riker says:

    Hi Margee! I thought I replied to you already but the comment didn't show up! I just want to say thank you sharing your thoughts. Being courageous is hard work and yes, I'm learning to be braver too. Thank you!

  18. Carolyn Riker says:

    Thank you smallgrl! Take care of your sensitive heart the best way you can. xoxo.

  19. Carolyn Riker says:

    Yes…Mother Nature is the best! Thank you, Jenny for sharing!

  20. Carolyn Riker says:

    Hi Maryse, thank you and I'm really glad my words could bring you some comfort. We are all in 'this' together…love and hugs.

  21. Carolyn Riker says:

    You are very welcome! Thanks for reading it! xxoo

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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

  25. 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:)

  26. Carolyn Riker says:

    Scintilatingspeck, please send a story of yours to elephant! Love your words and support!

  27. Carolyn Riker says:

    Thank you….I'm bowing back to you in earnest respect to a similar introspective heart.

  28. 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!

  29. 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.

  30. Carolyn Riker says:

    Thanks Renee…wow, it is a gift in a way to be so sensitive! I never really thought of it that way! Thanks for your words. It means a lot to me.

  31. Carolyn Riker says:

    Dear Dan, Thank you! You have a brave, masculine, sensitive heart to connect here on elephant. Your compassion is welcomed. Your words are heard even if you don't think so. Goldfinches are speaking and keeping watch while you settle into a peaceful solitude of love.

  32. Carolyn Riker says:

    Maybe it's time to share that beautiful side of you to a sacred few? just a little at a time…fan the flame within. It'll come out when it's ready. It doesn't come out all at once. that would be so scary! Sending love and a hug your way. xoxo

  33. Carolyn Riker says:

    Kirsten, we are never too old for our blanket forts and caves. I crave them at times and it sounds like you need an extra blanket or two. Rest, heal, sending much love your way.

  34. 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.

  35. Carolyn Riker says:

    Marie, your comment melted me. You are a poetesses and a writer! I hope you take a few extra steps and share your thoughts with others. Find me on FB. Submit something to elephant if you haven't already done so! Thank YOU. My heart just grew a bit larger! xoxo.

  36. 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.

  37. Carolina says:

    Absolutely beautiful. I can relate on all levels!

  38. Mariana says:

    Beautifully written! It resonated deeply with me.

  39. Jennifer says:

    This piece is spot on Carolyn.

  40. Xiante says:

    So lovely to see a male perspective on our -all of our- trait. You are the strong one, in your courage and choice to feel, and to share it. Thank you Dan…

  41. Xiante says:

    Sooo well put. Seconding..

  42. 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.

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

  45. jenspeaksatlast says:

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

  46. 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.

  47. 4EverGreen says:

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

  48. whispersforwellness says:

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

  49. 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!

  50. Maryn says:

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