Friday, January 22, 2016

Building Calluses

One day I noticed a hard rough spot on a few of my fingers. I began scratching at them and then it occurred to me that they were the start of calluses. I began working a new job doing home assembly in October for a local factory. I then realized that I must leave them alone. Imagine if I had peeled them off. I would have raw open spots. Then whenever I worked it would be painful. Every thing I did would cause me pain.

Calluses are ugly and rough. Nobody wants them. But they serve a purpose. Our bodies are smart. They build calluses to protect our tissues and prevent pain from doing repetitive tasks. A callus is defined as: a thickened and hardened part of the skin or soft tissue, especially in an area that has been subjected to friction. It makes perfect sense for our bodies to do this. Otherwise every time we worked there would be pain and we would be reluctant to continue with the work. So in order to keep doing the work we need to accomplish we build calluses.

We need to build figurative calluses also in order to survive this life. We can't be left open and raw to every encounter that occurs. We would never survive it. So we callus ourselves to certain situations we may encounter. We toughen up to certain words or situation that we know have hurt us in the past. If we leave ourselves open to it how would we ever live, short of hiding out from the world? We wouldn't. Some things we leave ourselves open to. We are raw and open and vulnerable in many, but not all, ways. We need to feel, just not ever pain. Some need to be protected against to insure survival. If we left ourselves open to all hurts it just would not work. Life would become too hard to bear and we would give up completely. The secret is figuring out where to build calluses and where to allow ourselves to feel. That is the hard part. After we have found that balance, however, life will be an easier walk and we will have much more bliss!

I used to care what everyone thought  of me and I wanted everyone to like me. I would be very hurt if someone was nasty to me or didn't like me. I callused myself to what most people thought, and decided who was important enough to care what they thought of me. I also callused myself to things my loved ones said to me during disputes, because I realize they probably don't mean it. I decided to live my values despite what other thought. This has made my life so much easier.

Where have you built up calluses and where have you left yourself open and raw? Are there areas you still need to build calluses?