This past Sunday I was faced with a spiritual inquire about 'my gift' and whether or not I've found / am using my gift(s). The bible says in 1 Corinthians 12: 6 - There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
Throughout my life I've strived toward compassion and empathy in not only my work but in my personal affairs, often times to an extreme degree of self-sacrifice. When I try to pinpoint the times I've felt most useful and like I was in the element of flow at work and at home it was when I was giving the most I could possibly give; without the expectation of something in return.
There have been many times when I've not received even a fraction of what was given and in some cases my warmth has even (temporarily) backfired. The thing I've recently come to terms with is that I've always had the capacity to endure the negative outcomes, if for no other reason than the positive outcomes weighing in much heavier, more frequent, and in a much more permanent sense. Even the times when I've actually been to the point of questioning every last belief I've ever had about life, God, relationships and people in general - there has been some not so distant lesson in the forefront just waiting to creep up and give me that "a-ha" moment of clarity and sense of worthwhile.
For the duration of my entire career in the beauty world I've listened to and felt for my dearest clients and friends who've experienced tremendous heartbreak, trauma and guilt and for that same amount of time I've been able to share with them the joy, happiness and pride that eventually breaks through. I've shared with them my heartbreak, my accomplishments, my inner battles and life experiences in hopes of connecting, relating -- but more often times than not, in hopes of making them feel more normal. This is a gift in itself, but wouldn't be possible if not for sensitivity. The gift of sensitivity is immeasurable and it's something I never want to lose, take for granted, or try to drown out in order to avoid pain.
Developing a backbone and adding a layer of emotional 'teflon', as my sweet Dad puts it, is certainly something that's necessary some of the time - especially when dealing with the (occasional harsh and unforgiving) public. More importantly though, developing sensitivity, awareness and compassion has never not been worthwhile in some way or another. The bigger question too, as always is: what's the alternative? What truly satisfying and happy life can you live without sensitivity? Without vulnerability? It is so much more difficult to look back and regret not being open when you're still closed and the opportunity for love, for happiness and growth - has passed.
In conclusion, I encourage you, whoever may be reading this,... to practice sensitivity. Practice kindness. Practice frequent application of SPF.