Vulnerability is not weakness. And that myth is profoundly dangerous.
—— Brené Brown
I’ve been looking at the “thick skin” metaphor and how that pertains to my take on the general topic of vulnerability.
Googling quotes about having a thick skin gets a mix of classic stuff about the need for mental and emotional toughness in this world… “just let it bounce off ya” and “don’t sweat the small stuff”. But there is also a hefty dose of thoughts about sensitivity and how important it is to not become hardened to suffering. The latter is closer to what I was referring in my post on Monday when I started going this way with the topic.
I think it better though, to actually think about what skin is… to try and grasp how it really does work when using it to describe how our insides interact with our outsides.
It’s more than just a protective membrane, skin is. If it were to be only that, it would be one of the worst in nature. But apparently (according to barefoot running enthusiast Christopher McDougall) our skin gets nature’s first prize in it’s ability to sweat. Cool!
So perhaps a filter metaphor would be better but… hmmm… we do more than filter the world through our skin. We interact with it.
Yes, it’s through the skin that we interact with the world outside our bodies. The ability to feel (through the sensitivity of our skin) allows us to interact in more than a mechanical way. It’s an interaction that is far more complex than simply detecting what is harmful or safe. It more like a communication device. Perhaps like a computer network?
Hmmm… that might be it.
Human skin… the largest organ of our body, is both internal and external. It’s an interactive network providing us with a conduit for the physical, sensory and communicative transmission of data between our essential inside selves and our surrounding environment.
Where we live.
Hmm… I’m going to have to develop this a bit more later. After which I shall continue…
To be continued…