It’s beyond our skins

What truly matters about us and other humans that we share this planet with is beyond our skins.

The outer shell does not matter, yet we are conditioned to care about how we look and what others might think of how we look. It has become addictive, compulsive behaviour and for some, it deeply affects their self-worth and mental health. For others it is a source of anxiety, for some, it’s abuse from others.

It consumes many of us on a daily basis, our exterior image that lives in our minds. We will do anything to protect it and avoid it being attacked.

However, the truly important stuff is contained within our skins, that is our kindness, our love, our empathy, our mind, our intelligence, our energy, our soul and so on. The real person is inside, the outside is a mask we put on for the world to protect the self-image.

The reason we judge others by colour, race, appearance etc is that it is taught to us and is not how we are born. We have to learn to judge.

We are taught to behave according to what our eyes see, not what we hear, feel, sense, or instinctively know. We are conditioned by society to look at the wrapper and not to see what is within.

Every single one of us at some point in our lives will have dismissed other people simply based on a judgement we have made about their exterior image which has been imprinted on us by society, what is attractive or not and so on. Just think how many amazing people we have missed by not going beyond their skins.

The magic is inside every single one of us.

I’m not a people person

We get told these things by others, usually our parents, who say things like ‘she’s just like auntie Jean’ or ‘just like her grandmother Gwen’ and so on. Throw away lines often, but if used often enough, along with again well-intentioned, but amateur analysis at best, the damage can be huge.

Parents first and then teachers and latterly bosses all get involved. With little real understanding, surprisingly, many parents do not understand their own children, people start to label us. Often, as said, with no malice.

My label was ‘Philip’s not a people person’ ‘not like his brother’ ‘more like his father, likes his own company’. Now some of this observation may well be true, but at early stages, in our lives, it conditions us to others thinking. Parents influences are huge and as children, we take what they say as almost gospel.

So, I grew up believing and telling myself that I am not a people person, and that did influence my behaviour, as we live by the ‘truths’ we tell ourselves.

Much of my adult life that has led to me being reserved until I know someone, it has led to periods of being lonely, it has made me shy away from social events and because I told myself something, no surprise that’s what happened.

Well, firstly, I do not blame my parents for anything in my life, many years ago I forgave them and myself. Each of us does the best we can at any stage in our lives based on our experiences/knowledge to that point in our lives and with the mindset at that time. We all act most of the time with the best intentions.

Secondly, in the last few years, as part of my ongoing journey of change, and especially challenging the ‘truths’ that I have been telling myself all my life, I learnt that I am much more of a people person than I was led to believe.

Now, I have not gone form not a people person to Jumping Jack Flash, life and soul of the party and the world’s most sociable person. That’s not me and not what I want. However, as a result of realising that people matter a lot more to me, than I had conditioned myself to believe, I now enjoy a more people orientated life and that has brought me a great deal of joy.

So watch out you might get a call!

‘Challenge the ‘truths’ Philip’ is a thing I now say often to myself.