I am the oldest of three siblings. I am strong-willed, tenacious, and relatively predictable. I wouldn’t describe myself as a particularly moody person, although I have my moments. I can be too rigid at times, but I live according to a plan and always have short-term and long term goals in mind. I find comfort in rhythm, so my schedule Monday through Friday remains nearly identical and constant. I am a “1” on the Enneagram, have been a leader since birth, and I am typically unafraid to speak my mind.
I am, however, an extremely sensitive person.
I literally cry every single day. Most days, more than once. Almost never out of sadness; no, it’s far more likely that I am crying because something has touched my heart. A song on the radio, a sweet text message, a beautiful photo, a mother carrying her infant through the grocery store, reading a blog post, a woman helping a stranger at the gym, a warm moment on the television, staring out the window as I sit in traffic, a dad carrying his little girl.
If you’re not particularly sensitive, you are probably at a loss at words at my tear-shedding tendencies. That’s okay. You may be thinking–but these are just everyday moments!
For years, I practiced the all-too familiar art of bottling up my feelings and emotions. All aspects of my personality led others to believe that I was very resilient and not a smidge sensitive, so I acted in accordance with who I thought I should be. For far too long.
And one day I was done. It was a Sunday, and I was at church worshipping. I was overcome with emotions, and for reasons unknown to me at the time, I allowed myself to cry. Let’s be real, I sobbed. And the next Sunday, I allowed myself the same liberty. And the Sunday after that.
Now it’s been several years, and I still cry every single Sunday morning. And every Monday. And Tuesday. And Wednesday. And Thursday. And Friday. And Saturday.
(Just to be clear, I don’t sit at home all day bawling and eating pints of Ben & Jerry’s. I’m talking more about a few tears shedding than an all-out wail.)
But when I hop in my car at 8:30am each morning, turn on Christian music, and hear a song that stirs my soul, I cry. I actually keep a box of tissues in my car at all times so I can clean myself up before I walk into work. And when I read a blog post like this one, I cry. When a dear friend calls with exciting news, I cry. When I see a quote like this, I cry.
And I absolutely embrace it.
What I am saying is not to spend hours each day red-faced and teary-eyed. What I am saying is this: Who I am and who you are cannot be defined by how you should act. You can be stubborn and sensitive. Tough and soft. Intense and weak. Your spirit doesn’t live in a box. You’re not just one way. There’s not just one side to you.
You are an individual with a beating heart and a pulsing soul and you are effervescent and beautiful and unique.
All your life, people will draw lines around you. Erase them. People will build boxes around you. Take them down. The Lord has crafted us each, perfectly and differently, and we are free to be exactly who we are.
And I am an organized, judgmental, creative, sensitive person who cries every day. And that’s okay.
It’s who I am.