One of my personality traits I’ve known within me has been sensitivity. When people pick and ridicule as children, you either learn to put on a poker face in public or you let them break you down. I grew accustomed to never letting them see their comments or jeers get to me, but in private there would be reflect sessions where I would cry alone. As a man society teaches us that getting overly emotional in a sad, sensitive and crying manner can be a sign of weakness. According to who’s standard though? Does that mean that women can’t possess deep anger and aggressiveness because they are supposed to be meek and mild?
My children will see me cry when I’m deeply moved or sad. There are certain movies and moments in life that do make me sensitive. The first 3 times I watched the movie The Ultimate Gift I cried. The first time I watched The Other Sister. The days that both of my daughters were officially adopted to be our children. Losses within our family. When I feel like we’ve hit a brick wall, if I think there’s nothing more I can do and feel complete overwhelmed, a private sob session can bring me back to a strong, better place.
In my adult years I’ve probably full out cried 10-12 times. Sure when I was a kid and I took a hefty fall off a bike or when I took a soccer ball in the breadbasket, you wince and cry. I don’t view this emotional display as weakness- I view it as cleansing the soul and preparing again for the future. The lyrics to “Dust In The Wind” from Kansas move me occasionally to tears- certain segments of the books and personal development material I own move me in those ways as well. The stories and experiences make me want to leave a stronger legacy, building better relationships with my friends, my family and helping more people in their times of need.
Maybe more of the sad, scared and hurt feelings have come out in the 6 years my daughters have been involved in our lives. If you heard of all the pain, neglect and suffering they went through that I didn’t have to because I had a happy, safe childhood, it would move you to tears. I look into another plane when attempting to plug into their sense of loss, pain and confusion as they want to come away happier and healthier.
Jim Rohn speaks about in his Take Charge of Your Life audio series looking at “the true value in life comes in looking at life through the contrasts.” Not all males are aggressive- there are sensitive males in the world and don’t punish them if they have times where they need comfort for the struggles of life that they are uncertain about. I channel anger in positive ways (bowling, music, chores, reading, going for a walk, etc.) so where I tend to handle my sensitivity is within myself and by writing about those feelings through blogs such as this.
When you see a friend in pain, a few minutes of your time can mean the world to them. I’ve spent hours with my best friend when he thought he would never find the love of his life during our college years- and he was so bitter about a relationship break up that I thought he would hurt himself in an unsafe way. I let the tears fall, I let him unleash his pain and I reassured him that each day the feelings and emotions would still be there, yet I thought he would have the distance and perspective to know what needed to be done next.
In experiencing sensitivity, you need to look outside your world and plug into the views of another. They don’t want you to solve all their problems- they just need another person to feel whole during those roller coaster times.