Every since I was young, I've took pride in my independence. Being able to look after myself, feeling at ease in the countryside, walking in the moonlight. I had such a strong urge, to forge my own way. I now know, that it was partly to do, with my mistrust of others. So it was important to prove to myself, that I didn't need anyone.
That attitude, gave me a thick skin. So determined I was, to make it alone, if needs be.
It's funny, cos I was also a very sensitive child. I felt and continue to feel things deeply, which of course only added to my desire to protect myself. To continue to thicken my skin. But they are in fact, quite the opposite way of being.
A few days ago, when I had some time to myself, I decided to watch something online. To stream a movie. I wasn't really sure what I wanted to watch, so I just scrolled through the website. One movie jumped out at me,( I can't remember what it was called). It was full on action from the beginning and after 10 minutes in, I switched it off. It was just too much. Too noisy, too violent, way too stimulating for me and how I was feeling.
Instead, I put some music on and wrote. Focusing on single words, that best described how I was feeling. Then, after that I danced a bit.
I felt myself soften.
These last few years, as I felt more and more comfortable in my skin. More accepting of myself, I have felt myself soften. Felt some of the thickest of my skin, melt away, as my guard came down. Shedding some more of my insecurities.
I've felt comfortable ( maybe that's not the best word), perhaps familiar is better, with a world that suffers. A world where we need to be bold and brave. Where we need to be strong and yet gentle. Which can seem like a contradiction. For too long being gentle has been seen as a weakness. Another word that has been twisted, in such a way to confuse us and send us off course.
There was a time when I found action packed movies to be fun, to be exciting. That feeling of being on the edge of my seat, wondering what will happen next. But I don't want to be watching violence. There is enough of it in the real world, why do we have to replicate it for entertainment. (Well that's a stupid question, I know exactly why, it's to desensitise us).
Instead I want to focus on the things that make me feel good. The things that are helping to soften me, in this violent world. To take more moments to be tender with myself and others, because that is what is needed.