“Toughen up already”… okay, maybe, just maybe, it’s time to give that one a rest.
You’ve tried. You really have. You’ve read the books. You’ve made the New Year’s resolutions to not be so sensitive. You’ve joined “toughness”, “pull yourself up” chat groups; you’ve seen therapists and coaches and still…. you’re not one ounce tougher.
It seems like if there’s even the slightest breeze it hits you sideways. If it’s positive, oh heck, you’ll take that. It’s awesome. That’s the stuff life’s made of and you surf on happiness, soaking up all that good stuff.
But if it’s negative–and let’s be honest, more often than not, it is negative–well then, it’s not so fun…
It doesn’t matter whether that “slight” breeze comes at you from some external source or whether it comes from that mind of yours that just churns round and round and round on a pinhead. And by the way, you don’t have a corner on the market on that one! We all have minds that can churn round and round and round on a pinhead. The great sages call it “monkey mind”.
And so we try to toughen up, pull it together. Pretend we’re not reacting to something. Tell ourselves it’s foolish to have such feelings, after all the cause was such a “little” thing. But you can’t. All that buck up talk doesn’t work for you and you know in your heart of hearts that it never will. And so then you feel broken. You feel different. You feel damaged.
But here’s a thought for you. What if you’re not damaged? What if this what you call a “ridiculous level of sensitivity” is precisely how you’re supposed to be made? What if your sensitivity is your genius, not your curse?
Guess what? You’re not supposed to toughen up. Toughening up would choke you. Suffocate you. Dull you.
So what the heck, right? Does that mean we sensitives are doomed to the whims and fancies of others and our own negatively charged “monkey minds?”
Quick answer? Heck no!
This is where it gets kind of sweet actually. No, you won’t respond to “toughen up”. That does make matters worse. Much worse.
But you will respond to soft.
You will respond to a gentle hand on your heart and a deep soothing breath.
You will respond to sitting under a tree.
You will melt into the arms of soothing/loving self talk. Calm. Nurturing.
Think cotton-padded room.
Think unicorns and lady bugs.
No, I’m not kidding.
Try it. You’ll like it.