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I am so sensitive.

The princess and the pea.

My skin, so thin, hastily bruises.

From misaligned choices,

decisions made out of integrity,

mistakenly placed energy.

I know it because my insides twist and my body, ungrounded, releases its tethers to reality.

I cannot come down.

I can only spin.

In my youth I scratched hatefully at my sensitivity until a callus formed.

I refused to be called a crybaby one more time by my siblings and peers.

Refused to disclose the fears that encircled my naive mind.

Refused to break down in front of witnesses who did not deserve my vulnerability.

But the callus was not armor.

It was a prison that barred me from accessing my own inner world.

I drifted, unanchored to my own body and the messages screaming at me from within it.

Occasionally the screaming would get so loud that I was pulled back into myself.

Briefly, swiftly, the balloon dragging me up would pop.

All at once, I would slam into all of the ugly things I had been refusing to see.

Hitting the ground hurt. But reconnecting with my heart and mind felt like a relief.


Over the years, this coming and going became exhausting.

Transience drains.

But I was the one who stitched myself back together.

The first needle was threaded on my therapist's couch.

In one single hour I released two decades of tears I had nimbly tucked away.

No words for anything. I had forgotten how to name the things I felt inside.

Rumi says:

"...Most people guard against going into the fire, and so end up in it....What looks like fire is a great relief to be inside."

Week in and week out, my therapist held my hand as I walked into the little fires of my life.

In time, that callus burned away.

Because I did the work.

I read.

I wrote.

I cried.

I prayed.

I meditated.

I spoke.

I listened.

I became accountable.

I learned I could no longer blindly blame anxiety for when I am overcome and begin to spin.

Because I now know

that for me, anxiety is a tool.

It is my sign:

Something is out of alignment.

I need to get quiet.

I need to listen to my heart.

I need to take intentional action.

I'm held to a higher standard.

I have to have harder conversations.

I set boundaries.

I speak up.

I take actions that others don't agree with.

Because if it's in alignment with my highest good, I know now that I have two choices:

Do the easy thing, but live with the tightness that comes with staying inside the lines.


Do the hard thing, but be free.

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