I thought the goal was to grow a “thick skin.” I didn’t want to feel pain anymore, but I could no longer numb myself with alcohol or chaos or distractions, so what was left was just me. I needed to toughen up. Or so I thought.
What I have learned is that when I block out the criticism + the opinions + the grief, I also block out the compliments + the feedback + the joy. Thick skin becomes a cage. Numb again. Detached from true self.
I don’t want to disconnect from myself or others. I want to live, deeply. All of it. It’s impossible to be selective with emotions. To feel, is to feel. Let it in. Let it out.
Healing skin means noticing, but no longer being controlled by what others say. I can feel hurt, but it won’t distract me from me. It means staying curious about what comes up when things don’t go my way. It means taking responsibility for how I show up. No longer a victim. No longer blaming. Reclaiming my freedom, my peace, my power at any time.
I am not powerless. To have a thick skin is to fend off life, others, myself, this entire experience. I don’t have the energy for that. I want a healing skin. One that feels. One that deals. One that falls, and gets back up, crying. Learning. Laughing. Still alive.
I’m here. What a gift.
Let it in. Let it out.