Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Too Sensitive

I have a very vivid memory from childhood of being about 5 years old watching the movie, "An American Tail" with my sister. It got to that moment in the story when Fievel the Mouse and his family are separated from each other and he and his sister, each on the other side of the world, look up at the same moon in the sky and sing "Somewhere Out There". I started crying. My mom came in from the other room to see what was wrong with me and I was too embarrassed to admit I was crying over a cartoon.

I remember other times in my childhood when I'd see people that looked lonely, sick or poor and it would make me cry. And every time I'd make up a reason why I was sad. Even though I had the most understanding parents I was embarrassed for them or anyone to know how sensitive I was. Too sensitive.

Fast forward to me now, pushing 30 (wow!), and I'm still too sensitive. But now it doesn't bother me or embarrass me...as much. I'm trying to embrace and love the person God has made me to be and after almost 30 years I've learned that:

Sensitivity is a gift from God- Compassion for others is a beautiful thing and truly a gift from God. I don't ever want to be ashamed that I feel too much. But I also realize that with that compassion needs to come action.

I need to be careful what I expose myself to- Knowing that I'm sensitive, particularly to media, I decided many years ago to not watch rated R movies. While I don't like the language in them it was the images that I couldn't handle. Television has been a little more tricky for me. I have always loved a good mystery and found myself often watching true crime shows, and mysteries about missing people, and unsolved crimes. But I began to notice that after watching these shows I would feel depressed and more anxious. So several months ago I decided to give up watching them and honestly I feel much better. Even though I'm not quite there yet, I want my media choices to be able to live up to this verse:

Philippians 4: 8-9 "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. "

What about you, have you ever felt too sensitive? How do you handle it and what have you learned?