Developing a Thick Skin

I’m learning not to be so sensitive and as I am consciously affirming this in my mind and aloud, the Universe is giving me daily evidence of how often that has to be kept in check…how often I have to employ certain tools…particularly, a thick skin. Think of the way a rhino’s skin cannot be penetrated by mosquito’s stinger or lion’s claw or hyena’s teeth – the ability to let external disturbances breeze right over a shield of solace.

Most people really are just emotionally underdeveloped and completely immature about how to communicate and interact with others. Most people are just a series of insecurities and internal misgivings that they project onto others whenever they feel threatened (defensiveness, passive-aggressiveness, gossip, pettiness, criticism). Victimizing oneself just makes one a puppet for everyone else. In victim mode, you are constantly switching through your emotions based on external perception and the energy coming at you from outside yourself. Think of all the energy that takes and there is no reward! You could use your energy to strengthen your internal thought patterns and mature your emotional skills by looking within to determine what your sensitivities are so you can develop strategies to never get thrown off track by the opinions or comments of others.

Everyone is SUCH A BABY these days!! Whaaa

And here I am complaining about all these grown-up babies…whaaa! The point is we ALL, myself very much included, must develop thicker skins – especially if we want any hope of being happy and keeping this world alive rather than in chaotic turmoil. Sure, we’re there, in the red zone. We all know it. We all feel it, but within all the chaos and hastening pace of time is the other side of the coin, the positive side – the opportunity to connect via the digital age in a way never could before. It’s a lot harder to hide information these days. Infotainment journalists and the modern media are not the watchdogs they used to be – now WE have to do it for ourselves. And while that may seem unfair and daunting and even impossible, it’s actually empowering. It’s empowering in a way humanity has never before experienced (at least in the last 5,000 years or so).

Why would anyone want to be a feather in the wind, carried around by outside influences, never in control of your destinations? That’s what most of us are doing, being so AFFECTED by other people and outside stimuli. You have to dive deep to have real growth. Just skimming the surface will leave you lacking the full life experience.

We can teach each other, learn from each other, go beyond the boundaries of brick and mortar, organizational hierarchy…things can’t be hidden anymore and with that we all have the chance to get collectively smarter. Sure, there are a ton of malcontents who will spread their sickness but that’s a price of free expression – hence why we must develop thicker skins to NOT react. The web is distancing us while it’s connecting us but what’s important is THAT we are connecting without the smoke and mirrors.

We don’t just have to rely on being spoon-fed everything…and the powers that be are scared and working overtime to keep us perpetually distracted. They are happy that “we the people” become mesmerized by celebrities and silly Twitter fights and that most of mainstream commentary basically echoes what is trendy or what trendy celebrities do and think– as if they are ambassadors on how to view the world (liberal or conservative – entertainment sells).  The magicians of information spin, wrapped within the traditional corporate monopolistic hierarchy, have acquired the mainstream media. It’s in in their pockets and have been for the past two generations. Today, these once free and open media outlets are now mouthpieces for the elite who want to “pull the string” in their favor. We now have the power to grow awareness and build outside the web of deceit that has become our modern culture. We now have the power not to just be lambs for the wolves. We now have the power to turn lambs into wolves and throw out the old power (greed$$$) structure for good.

Be open-minded and stop looking to get offended all the time. It’s very, very easy to be offended. Just look for it and you can find something. That’s just one of the millions of distractions hitting you everyday, making you take the focus OFF yourself and what YOU need to do to make YOUR life better. All these distractions allow your overloaded mind to control you into thinking you have no control, and therefore have to blame the outside world for your frustrations and shortcomings. People who are successful in this world have all managed to overcome how difficult and offensive this world can be, which shows the world is what you make it. BE ACCOUNTABLE FOR YOUR OWN LIFE.

I bet as your perspective changes, the world doesn’t seem so difficult and offensive anymore. That makes the point once again that peace of mind has to start with YOU, no one else. Accountability is easier when you develop a thick skin.

So…back to my premise on having a thicker skin and not wearing emotions on your sleeve (you know one of those other Golden Rules we’re taught but don’t really do?) …the way to do that is to truly look within. I don’t just tell people they should, I walk the talk! In order to truly mature as an adult, I’ve had to realize and accept that I’m too sensitive, and that it’s time to let that burden go. That also means facing the hypocrisy that I criticize others for being too sensitive. Not something to be proud of, but self-reflection and accountability are vital to growth, and vital to changing things about ourselves we don’t like (if we’re being honest enough with ourselves to admit there is something we want to change), so that we can be our best selves.

We are all on our journeys and as I have had to learn the very hard way and too many times, everyone is at different places at different times and sometimes people just cannot be where you want them to be. You simply have to accept and work (and appreciate) what is available and the best way to utilize it. I don’t mean in romantic love relationships, but rather, in everyday life. Co-workers, colleagues, friends, family (and even romantic partners) can and will disappoint you and screw up sometimes. And you will screw up sometimes, too. It stands to reason that if you, yourself, are going to fall short sometimes, that others will too, so shouldn’t we all give ourselves and others a break? Yes.

You learn to accept the flaws of others because you accept them in yourself, and you are grateful that others accept and look past them in you, as well. That’s what I think “forgiveness” really is – you can only forgive others when you forgive yourself – or perhaps it goes both ways on that one!

Easy to do? Of course it isn’t. Over time it becomes easier because you realize what a HUGE weight it is to hang on to things. Who you think you are or who you always were will change over time – as will others change. Release the past – even from this morning when you were cut off in traffic! The stresses never stop; the trick is learning how to not let them trickle into your peace of mind.

Develop a thicker skin, like the rhino, and nothing can penetrate!

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