Rumi says, “If you are irritated by every rub, how will you become polished?”
I’ve often been accused of being “too sensitive”.
My feelings have been dismissed because I can rarely express them without leaking from my eyes,
So I’m labeled as “excessively emotional”
As if my sentiments become invalid because they come served with salt,
As if my inability to remain stoic in the cacophony of daily existence is somehow a failure.
I think it takes courage to be tender-hearted.
Every day, I make a choice between anaesthetising myself to Life’s bittersweet reality and becoming highly attuned to the mechanical humming of the Universe:
Have you ever held someone in your arms as they took their last breath?
I have felt warm skin slowly turn cold and heartbeats fade away like the notes of a song.
I know how to close the eyes of someone who has died so that family members see only a sleeping face.
Have you ever held someone in your arms as they failed to take a breath?
“Code Pink” sounds so adorable until you learn it means “neonate cardio-respiratory arrest”.
Did you know that the weight of the whole world can be 7lbs, 9 oz when a baby dies?
I’ve whispered, “I’m so sorry” more times than I’ve practiced this poem.
Have you ever held someone in your arms as they took their very first breath?
I have beheld the miracle of virgin lungs being filled with air in my very hands,
Seen the magic of a blue body turned rosy,
And felt the pulse of an umbilical cord between my fingers.
These events are not one-off experiences in my life. These moments are my life’s calling. How can I not be sensitive?
Of course the surface of my heart is raw like road-rash!
Of course it’s always rainy season on my face and it’s all I can do to keep my make-up on!
Some people believe if we numb ourselves to the elements, we become enlightened,
I say if emotions are the elements, we should step outside and experience the weather!
The only wisdom that I have to impart to you today is that Life is precious and short.
Allow yourself to weep. Allow yourself to rage. Allow yourself to laugh uproariously.
Allow yourself to feel every little thing while you can.
Rumi also said, “The wound is the place where the light enters you”.
I have been cracked open a thousand times and I wouldn’t change it for the world because I am filled with so much light.
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This work, “On Sensitivity” by Beth Murch, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.