Excuse Me For A Moment While I Thicken My Skin

Sep 19, 2018 by Renee Linnell
I have a confession to make: every single time someone is mean to me or acts like I am in the way or like I am an inconvenience, I cry. Every. Single. Time.

Every time I check into a hotel and the front desk person acts like I’m ruining her day by being there for three minutes, every single time a server in a restaurant acts like I’m an inconvenience because I sat at his/her table, every single time someone makes the face like “get out of my way” and sighs when s/he walks around me because my 5’2” legs don’t walk as fast as theirs, I cry. Every. Single. Time.

But, I also have to say that every single time someone is kind and loving and caring to me, I also cry . . . with gratitude. Every single time someone looks at me with kindness or gives me their very best service or takes the time to smile and greet me with warmth I thank God for that experience and for sending loving people into my path for the day, and I cry with appreciation to have had that moment interacting with that one Being of Light. I imagine tiny balls of light/love/energy being passed between people, handed as a gift, with each little act of kindness, no matter how small.

Today, like every day, my day was filled with both types of people. When I went to the lobby because my hotel room key wasn’t working, the women at the front desk treated me like dog poop on the bottom of their shoes; something yucky they wanted out of their lives as soon as possible. I cried as I walked up to my hotel room. And then, just a few minutes later, my airport driver greeted me with eyes shining with love and kindness. As we drove he asked me about my trip, loving brown eyes twinkling in the rear view mirror; and I, usually quiet in a car, found myself telling him about my live TV interviews and about my book. 

He listened as we drove to LGA and he offered anecdotes from his own life. He confessed that every day he asks God to make his mind quiet so he can hear his Inner Guidance, and to make him humble. That explains all the light in his eyes and the feeling of being loved and hugged just by being in his presence, I thought. My heart filled with contentment. I confessed to him that every morning I ask God to shine Her/His love and light through me onto everyone with whom I interact, so that His/Her presence will touch the souls that come in front of me each day.
I used to be afraid to use the word “God.” It is so loaded. I used to have no problem saying “Fuck” out loud, but I would lower my voice and whisper when I said the word “God.” I have recently realized it is time to stop diluting what I say, worried about each person’s reaction to it. Instead I have to do the opposite: speak my truth clearly so that those that are offended by it move away and leave space for those for whom it can truly touch to come closer.

My conversation with this driver continued as he shared a story about interacting with a very angry driver and, rather than throwing anger back and having the situation escalate into violence, he used the clarity of mind and humility for which he prays daily to get him the result he wanted. I then shared that interacting with negative people always makes my cry. I paused, then continued, “I suppose I will need to thicken my skin if I am going to start publicly speaking . . .” He smiled again, eyes twinkling in the rearview mirror, and said, “Well, maybe when that happens you can say, ‘Please just give me a moment to thicken my skin . . .’ and then take a moment to allow yourself to cry and then respond. You will be teaching in a wonderful way if you do that.”

We arrived at the airport and said our good-byes, exchanging tiny balls of white light/energy/love as we looked at each other with shining eyes; and then I walked away, eyes filled with tears of happiness; so very grateful for the wonderful angel that was put in my path for 45 minutes to re-fill my heart with optimism and love, just by being himself. 

Photo Credit: Shutterstock by Chote BKK