One of the things about being a Nice Sensitive Person is that it keeps people from being able to express their anger without fear of crumpling you. It's convenient in this way, because as people step on eggshells around you and hold back criticism so you don't feel wounded, it confirms that you really are that nice and sensitive—if only because you have set up a system wherein you never have to hear about the alternative. It's a code for never letting anyone get mad at you, even when it's legit.

But and Because you have a secret, darling: you aren't a nice person. You are a worthwhile person with great value, and someone I value and admire and love, but you aren't beyond blame because of the intensity with which you feel. You are sometimes nice and sometimes mean, sometimes caring and sometimes cruel. Sometimes protective and sometimes cold, sometimes responsible and sometimes careless, sometimes generous and sometimes selfish, sometimes visionary and sometimes blind.

Life's tension level drops considerably when you drop the act and accept yourself as messy but well-meaning, with a lot of work to do. This reappraisal has an added bonus: you can accept others as works-in-progress too, then, once you understand you aren't innocent. You don't have to define them in black and white anymore; you don't have to grab their every utterance and rush to appoint it to its slot in the scheme of Good v. Bad.


When you allow yourself to be worthwhile despite your spectrum of being, you give that gift at the same time. Sweeping, gravid pronouncements, aimed like arrows, lose their luster. You begin to care about responsible honesty over stale beliefs and old conditioning, the urge to define and be safe, be right, have someone else be wrong, be cruel to your pure defenseless underbelly. You don't have to manipulate or hide to get what you want; it's not a transaction after all, a matter of measures of limited things—goodness, purity of heart, blamelessness. None of those things are limitless, and neither are they themselves at all. However you remember it is not how it happened.