My Gift of Emotional Sensitivity

Throughout most of my life, I attempted to hide my emotions from others. When I was out in public, I often used techniques I learned to keep my emotions at bay, and at the first sign of my eyes tearing up—I knew to just leave the room.

I was frequently told by my friends and family that I was too sensitive. I often thought there must be something wrong with me, because no matter how hard I tried, I wasn’t able to change my emotional response to things.

It wasn’t until later in life that I learned that my emotional sensitivity was actually a powerful gift.

I was training at a yoga school in California at the time. The founder of the school had lived in India for 11 years, where she received extensive training in a yogi’s way of life. She had returned to the United States to share with others what she had learned about the practice of yoga, meditation, and living in a sacred way.

In one of our first meetings, several women sat in a circle to share their personal life experiences. I noticed that as each woman spoke, my emotions changed drastically. I could feel different sensations in my body as I listened to their individual stories.

After the meeting, the teacher pulled me aside to ask me about my experience in the group. I immediately began to apologize. I felt embarrassed that she could see how emotionally sensitive I was.

On that very memorable day, the teacher explained to me that my ability to feel and sense other people’s emotions was actually a very special gift. She told me I could learn to work with this ability so it would not affect my physical body so dramatically. I could learn to have better energetic boundaries, so one day I would be able to use this gift to benefit my life and to help others.

I can’t tell you how powerful it is when someone actually sees you and understands what you are experiencing. It was the first time in my life I wasn’t being criticized and judged for being sensitive…for just being me.

Looking back, it makes sense that my inability to understand my gift of emotional sensitivity led me to avoid large crowds and isolate myself from other people. It was life-changing to learn that there were techniques I could use to support my body’s natural protection, and to not have to feel so much.

Emotionally sensitive individuals can easily pick up on the feelings of others, making it difficult to determine which feelings belong to them. When we learn to work with our energy field, we can create better boundaries for ourselves.

I went on in my life to gain more training in yoga and meditation, and to learn how to live in a more sacred way. I focused on delving deeper into my past and the experiences that shaped me—yearning to acknowledge, understand, and accept who I am.

Twenty years later, as the yoga teacher professed, I am using my gift of emotional sensitivity to help others. Now I work with many sensitive people like myself, guiding them to learn about their innate gift, and to better support their bodies to empower themselves.

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About the Author | Lana Lensman

Lana Lensman writes about living with presence and awareness. She offers guidance to individuals who have a strong desire to transform their life.

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2 comments to "My Gift of Emotional Sensitivity"

  • Karen DeBonis

    Lana, thanks for sharing your story. I, too, feel the emotions of others strongly, and have had to work on creating some boundaries. How wonderful that you have learned to use your gift to help others!

    • Lana Lensman

      Thanks Karen for sharing your experience. Yes, I felt quite fortunate to learn tools to create a different life for myself, and it is very fulfilling now to help others do the same. Maybe you could share your story related to emotional sensitivity on this site? I know I would enjoy reading it.