Tender Hearts: The Gift of Emotional Sensitivity



This post was mostly stolen from a post that inspired me, with some added nuance and photographs by me. The original post touched my heart as if it had been written by me.

I post this as an original post because posting as simply a link will get ignored. I want people to see this. The original post can be found here and is part of a blog called “An Intense Life,”  geared towards the gifted and the struggles they face in life. Great content.


The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this:
A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive.
To him…
a touch is a blow,
a sound is a noise,
a misfortune is a tragedy,
a joy is an ecstasy,
a friend is a lover,
a lover is a god,
and failure is death.

Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create – – – so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating.

Pearl S. Buck

This quote from Pearl S. Buck is one of my favorite descriptions of the emotional sensitivity I experience in my life  that I witness in my kids.

Albus Dumbledore

My Children Astound Me with Their Emotional Responses.
  • One son cried in his sleep for 6 months after a fish died in his classroom aquarium.
  • One son fretted for days because characters in a picture book were cruel to another character.
  • Small consequences for minor rule infractions lead to massive melt-downs and shame spirals.
  • A drawing that doesn’t show what the artist intended gets torn up, and before resuming the project, the artist rages through the house slamming doors and knocking down furniture.
  • Hugs are so intense that they knock the recipient down.
  • The vagaries of playground friendships become epic betrayals and melodramatic reunions.
  • A sunset stops us all in our paths as we gaze in silence together.
  • A pine cone becomes a beloved friend.
  • A favorite book is read and re-read and re-read; the cover falls off and we buy a new copy.
  • We laugh so hard we miss the next three jokes.
  • We cry over lyrics and are stopped short by poetry.
  • Music invades our bodies and forces us to dance.
  • We love hard, falling fast and deep, breaking inconsolably, and recover to do it again.
  • Our hearts break and rejoice with the pain and joys of others, friends and strangers alike.

We are emotional sensitivities walking this earth in physical bodies. Finely tuned receivers, we resonate with the frequencies of the world, amplifying sorrow and joy as they pass through us.

If we defend ourselves from the pain, we shut off our capacity for happiness. We must learn to accept that the price of being capable of feeling such joy is that we must also feel the deepest sorrows.

What tools do we have to manage these extreme emotions?

8 thoughts on “Tender Hearts: The Gift of Emotional Sensitivity”

    1. I apologize. I don’t know the proper format for doing so. I tried to include the link at the bottom of the page.

      At first, when I re-blogged, this was the only option it gave me. I didn’t want to send people to my page just to get a link to another page… the ideal way to do it is?


      1. The link at the bottom of the page is a great first step.
        You should also add some text either at the top or the bottom explicitly saying “This is reblogged from An Intense Life” or something to that effect so that it is clear you are posting someone else’s material. And, if you want to post more than a small amount of the post, you should ask permission before you do it.
        By the way, I like the pictures you added.


      2. Thanks for clearing that up.

        I get so obsessed with “getting the info out there” that what method I use matters least. I’m sorry for who I may hurt in the process of this. Thanks again for straight up calling me out on it in a nice way.

        That’s how stuff should get done in this world…


  1. Kate, I just had time to reorganize the intro to the post. I believe that it pays respect to your blog and will lead followers your way. Again, I don’t want to be stealing content… It just touched me like a new favorite song that you want to pretend you are the lead singer of.

    Let me know if there is anything else I can do to make it more clear. I want this to be your post.

    I just know that my followers will find it fascinating.


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