All my life I have been called "sensitive".
I get my feelings hurt easily. Thats what my sisters always told me.
My father said it was because I cared to much what others thought or said of me.
My mother said it was because I had a "tender heart", thats why I was a good singer
and musician. Emotions were a part of who I was even at a very young age.
I think the word "sensitive" sounds like someone just cries all the time.
But this is not true at all.
The definition of the word sensitive is: "quick to detect or respond to slight changes, signals, or influences."
And of a persons behavior: "having or displaying a quick and delicate appreciation of others' feelings"
I have had musicians I played with, co-workers, spouses, teachers, friends, family and the lot all tell me at one time or another and on many occasions that I was so "Sensitive".
It is true. But it's so much more than just getting my feelings "hurt" or getting upset with someone
because of something they said. It's more based on my "sensitivity" of the situation and others feelings that I pick up on very deeply. I am aware.
When I was young I could feel the tension that my parents had been fighting and were not happy
with each other, even if I wasn't there when it happened. I could tell something was wrong.
The tone of the voice, the way a person walks, the cold still face that does not smile.
I see it all, feel it all, and it affects me immediately.
Sometimes I wish it did not, it would be so much easier to not "feel" so much of the world around me. I used drugs and alcohol for years to numb that sensation of awareness and feeling, but alas,
I have an allergic reaction to mind altering-mood changing substances.......who knew.
Since I can remember, I have been an antennae for emotion.
I am also just plain old "sensitive". I want everyone to like me, and when they don't
I get my feelings hurt and I wanna know why. Many actors and musicians, songwriters and authors
have this same affliction.
I believe it is why we "perform", to seek attention and people pleasing.
We give more of ourselves than most, in hopes that we will get something in return.
When I cleaned up from drugs and alcohol I began a process of eliminating my old personality
and beginning a new. The old one wasn't working anymore.
What happened was slowly over a period of time I became who I was before I ever used drugs or drank. I was a child again.
Over the years of early recovery, I spent time with musicians and friends joking and being mean and teasing and getting tough again. I loved to call someone out and give them shit, I was the toughest
one of all. If they gave any back I would cut them down with some quick one-liners and they knew where they stood. BUT.....as my recovery continued, I learned that this behavior was juvenile and hurtful and mostly a waste of time and energy. Why tear others down for amusement? I should be lifting others up. Slowly my behavior changed and I learned to grow up.
Spiritually I was maturing, but I was not "tough" anymore.
When I spent time with my old friends, they behaved as they always did.
When they got to me and gave me a good teasing....guess what? I got my feelings hurt.
I was still sensitive but I was not tough anymore. The spiritual principles had changed my behavior
and I did not have it in me to fight back with hurtful words. I did not want to behave this way anymore. I didn't understand why my friends would want to treat me like this, why would they want
to talk to me this way?
They had not changed, I had, and I was still sensitive.
Once again, it's always me.
I could finally begin to work on my self-centered sensitivity. These people were not trying to hurt me or my feelings at all. They were acting the way we had always acted together, but I had changed.
I was not that person anymore.
So I learned to understand my feelings once more.
Mostly my feelings are connected to my ego and the first feeling that pops up when something
is said to me, is probably the wrong feeling. My ego wants to get bruised, but I can now decide
how I will react. Mostly I just wait a second and "Think, Think, Think" before I react.
This always works. It's still a daily operation that deal with, but much much easier today than a year or two ago.
I am still sensitive and will always be that way.
I don't think I want to change that about me. It helps me to write songs and play my music
from the heart.
I will always seek attention, but mostly in a positive way today :)
I have learned to let it go. When something is said to me and it feels hurtful, I just stop a second
and remind myself that I'm crazy and it's probably me and the way I am interpreting the words.
My interpretation is most likely more harmful than the words and intention itself.
Unfortunately, sensitivity and self centeredness are a bad combo.
The idea is to let go of the self centeredness and focus on the outside world around us.
Try and understand that most of it has nothing to do with us, as the world does not revolve
around you or I.
I try today to use my sensitivity for the positive. Writing songs, sharing my feelings, being compassionate and tolerant of those around me. Understanding what others are going through.
If everyone was a little more sensitive to the world around them, it would be much easier
to get along.
Peace, Love, Zito