“We often add to our pain and suffering by being overly sensitive, over-reacting to minor things, and sometimes taking things too personally.” — Tenzin Gyatso, The 14th Dalai Lama

This is worthy enough for a tattoo on my arm–except that I want to scrub it out of my life. I live this out almost every day. I seem programmed for detailed observation of others, assigning meaning to actions, facial expressions, words, and even silence. I take certain things very seriously and personally even when I shouldn’t. I’ve never had a thick skin, but I’m at least making my thin skin more “elastic” over time. I think that as we grow as adults, we turn off our “give a damn” sensitivity more easily and start shrugging off the things others say and do that used to make us over-react.

Enough about me; what’s your most recent life lesson?

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9 thoughts on “Today’s Life Lesson”

Miranda McKennitt · May 4, 2010 at 3:28 pm

I have no idea what my life teaches me. I’m not even sure I am smarter than I was twenty years ago, for example. I doubt it. BTW, I am “oversensitive” too, but in my opinion we should strive to keep this REAL source of ethics alive in us for as long as we can…*hugs*
.-= Miranda McKennitt’s last blog ..Żaba lepsza od morfiny =-.

Not Guilty · May 4, 2010 at 4:03 pm

That is a great life lesson for me. Fairly poignant for me currently. Thanks!

Jeremiah · May 4, 2010 at 8:45 pm

Early in life I learned to procrastinate things I didn’t want to do and still function quite well in the world. I am learning that my procrastination has seeped into nearly every area of my life. I am always putting off doing something more important because it is difficult, and just doing something easy. I procrastinate time with certain friends, encouragement, intimate conversations, and personal growth. It’s just easier to do things that are less difficult, but there’s nothing better about it. This statement is a modified quote that isn’t always true, but I find it helpful. “If something needs to be done inevitably, then it should be done immediately.”
.-= Jeremiah’s last blog ..My Life: An Epic Tale =-.

Lindsay · May 4, 2010 at 8:52 pm

I totally agree with Jeremiah about procrastination. I’ve been learning that the hard stuff (which for me is my dissertation) isn’t really all that hard once I just sit down and get to it. Prolonging the agony is what makes it suck. I imagine that would apply to lots of the things I put off. I think my tattoo is going to say “Rip off the bandaid, already!”

Renee Hendricks · May 5, 2010 at 12:19 am

My life lesson? That it’s entirely too short to sweat the small stuff. That it shouldn’t be spent attempting to figure out the meaning of it all. That I *can* do the things I like and feel great about them despite what others may think or feel about those things. And most of all that it’s so much better when you’re with your best friend.

VirgoMassari · May 5, 2010 at 4:48 am

My life lesson? To take 100% responsibility for what’s going on in my life. To never blame anything or anyone outside of myself for anything in my experience. I am my choices… i.e., I’m what I choose to do for a living, who I choose to have as friends, what I choose to do on the weekend, who I choose to listen to (advice), who I choose to feel sorry for when they don’t do what they are supposed to do, etc.
By making this choice to claim responsibility for my own life, I empower myself to have what I want, be who I want, to master my own fate and rule my ‘destiny’ (for lack of a better term). Peace
.-= VirgoMassari’s last blog ..VirgoMassari: @blaxxmajic Always a good thing — =-.

Wendy Voltaire · May 5, 2010 at 7:31 am

Today I had a teacher of mine tell me that my timing (I’m a drummer) sucks. And that no one likes drummers that can’t keep time. Yeah, it sucks, but that was the truth. I’m depressed over it at the moment, but it’s most likely that my teacher also went through the same thing, so that makes me feel a little better.
.-= Wendy Voltaire’s last blog ..American Apparel’s Fine Jersey Short Sleeve T-Shirt. =-.

okfine · May 6, 2010 at 10:32 pm

Hmm… That I can’t use my own motivations or needs as a frame to understand other’s actions. Don’t ‘project’ I guess.

As for sensitivity, I think I’ve gotten more so with age. So much so that I recently read a book on the subject, ‘The highly sensitive person’ by Elaine Aron, to try and figure why. She claims that it’s biological; an evolutionary strategy that can be found in animals as well.

“I seem programmed for detailed observation of others, assigning meaning to actions, facial expressions, words, and even silence.”

You should check out that book if you haven’t already. Your description above fits exactly into her definition. Much of it is feel-good-we’re-all-ok stuff but there is some very good information and insight.

    Godless Girl · May 8, 2010 at 12:01 am

    Thanks for the recommendation! I’ll add it to my library list.

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