tired of wearing a thick skin

I’m very sensitive.  Like EXTREMELY.

Want to test that out?  Easy.  Put on an ad with one of those abused pets in front of my face and I’m instant waterworks.

While that sensitivity can be a gift (most mystically inclined peeps tend to be quite tender-hearted and empathic), it can also be problematic when you’re working in this industry.

One bad review or mean comment from a non-believer and suddenly, your day is ruined.  You want to give up.  You’re throwing in your tarot towel and never looking back.

Or: you develop a skin as thick as a rhino’s.  You go hard and thuggy.

That might be mandatory but you know what?

It also feels hard to be hardened all the time.  Why be a perpetual hard ass when the truth is you’re a squishy emo marshmallow?

Is there a way to protect your sensitive self but still remain a softie?


Start by practicing compassion for yourself.

Then, extend that same compassion to others, even the ne’er do wells who are determined to rain on your tarot parade.

Simple?  Nope.

But it sure feels a lot better than having to suit up with invisible armor every time someone decides to throw you some shade.

My favorite method of practicing this is the “Loving-Kindness meditation” or “Metta meditation”.  I love teaching a simple version of this to my yoga students.  It’s also very effective for any body who is happier moving through the world with an open heart.

Here’s how to practice:

Sit comfortably (or lie down if sitting is a problem).

Close your eyes.

Begin by taking in a deep breath and letting it out.

Follow your breath closely.  Observe every breath.

Now we’ll add mantra to the breath:

As you inhale, silently say to yourself: “May I be free from suffering.”

As you exhale, silently say to yourself: “May I be at peace.”

Repeat that again and again and again with each breath.  Try to really feel these good wishes for yourself.

After a few minutes, you can begin coming back by letting go of the mantra and gently wiggling your fingers and toes.  Open your eyes, bow deeply and move on about your day.

If you’d like, you can also use the “loving-kindness meditation” to extend compassion towards your haters.

The method is the same except, you’d replace “I” with their name:

“May ________ be free from suffering.”

“May __________ be at peace.”

Try to picture the person as best as you can.  Visualize love pouring out through your heart chakra and send that energy to them.

This might be hard, especially if you are dealing with someone who is particularly malicious.  But remember this: hurt people hurt people.  When you understand that cruelty is often due to pain or fear within the other person, you can change the way you look at them.  See the scared or hurt person underneath the actions and it’s easier to practice compassion.

Loving-kindness is a great meditation anytime you’re struggling with the thick skin/tender heart dilemma.  While a hard shell is still necessary at times, compassion is a softer and warmer option – and one I prefer to wear.  (PS softness looks good on you.  Give it a try.)

“I will never grow thick skin so that you don’t have to feel bad about being a jerk to me.”  ― Dan Pearce



© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2015

I highly recommend The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book).  This book changed my life and gave me a better perspective on how to deal with cruelty.

A book on Loving-Kindness that you might enjoy: The Gift of Loving-Kindness: 100 Meditations on Compassion, Generosity, and Forgiveness

If you prefer to listen, check out this CD: The Gift of Loving-Kindness: 100 Meditations on Compassion, Generosity, and Forgiveness

Learn more about Metta Meditation at The Metta Institute.

Want to practice daily kindness?  Check out my Kindness Hustle and get your heart-on for thirty days!

A video with Sharon Salzberg on Loving-Kindness Meditation:

picture from stock photography

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