MUSINGS OF THE DAY
THE GIFT OF SENSITIVITY
Hear This Read Aloud Below
We tend to confine our truth to the few places we feel safe to let ourselves be free. Early on in life, most of us learned to adapt our wild and unique selves to fit what others expected of us and was deemed acceptable by our culture. Teachers, peers, the media, all give us feedback on what is OK and what’s not.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that most of us are walking around as watered-down versions of our true selves, our uniqueness cloaked in socially acceptable forms.
I know this to be true for myself throughout a good part of my life. I was a wild child with “crazy” thoughts and notions. My view of life couldn’t be grasped by those around me let alone supported. Sometimes I ponder what my life might have been like had I been appreciated for the unique sensibilities and perceptions I had as a kid. I certainly would have saved myself a lot of pain and struggle. I dare say the world might even have embraced me sooner had I been able to openly be myself and share my uniqueness with others rather than my failed attempts at fitting in.
I raised my son to embrace his uniqueness, to be himself and go after his dreams no matter what. That was the gift I gave him that I never had. I swore I wouldn’t carry on the legacy I had been given. Though I am painfully aware of many of the mistakes I made as a parent, at least I have had the awareness to avoid some of the same ones I had to deal with. Hopefully the next generation in my family will feel free to be even more themselves as a result.
That brings me to my art, the truest expression of my soul that I know. It was discarded and dismissed when I was younger. Now I can share it with the world and celebrate my unique expression of life. I see and feel things in my own unique way. I sense things that others might miss. My sensitivity to the energy on the earth is high. That can be the greatest gift ever and it can also make living in the mainstream of our culture very challenging.
For those of us who are highly sensitive, we need to create our everyday life somewhat differently. Too much stimulation overloads our circuits. Things like TV, the internet, politics and traffic can take a toll on our physical and mental health. We need solitude more than most, quiet and sometimes darkness, in order to balance out the everyday overload of living. When we don’t provide ourselves with this balance, our gift of sensitivity begins to look like a curse and others around us often don’t understand the effect.
In order to create my art I need to silence the external stimulation. I require quiet—less input, more solitude. It is vital to surround myself with nature. I must say no, more often than not, to social engagements, travel, and phone calls. Sometimes it takes literally cocooning in a dark space for a while to bring myself back to center. No matter how beautiful, music can often feel like an intrusive noise. It can be experienced as too much stimulation, which overloads a very sensitive system. All of this is hard for others to grasp. It certainly took me most of my life to understand it about myself and honor my differences. Now I celebrate it as the aspect of me that has the ability to create my work as well as feels the earth and the animals and other people’s souls as I do.
This aspect of myself, this gift, enables me to tune into other beings and somehow know what they are feeling and needing, to sense their truth at times before they know it themselves. And this gift is what I offer when I create a custom piece for someone. My sensitivity allows me to sense their essence and translate that into a visual form. I can’t tell you how I do that. It is an ability I’ve had that I consider a gift of my high degree of sensitivity to energy. Some of my best work has come through in that way. I have been able to paint for others what they couldn’t express for themselves and out of that their souls shine in images I would never have painted for myself. The process also allows me the opportunity for a deeper connection with another person in a way beyond what we usually share with one another. That communion with another and with the spirit that flows through my hands as a result, adds a dimension to my work that is precious and sacred.
If you would love a piece of art that expresses your truth, a piece that reminds you every day of who you are and the uniqueness that only you have to share, let me know. This could be a custom fabric piece, a piece to drape yourself in and wear, a painting or a combination of both. I would be honored to use the gift that I have been given to help you express your own.