Monday Master Class - Letting Down Walls: Part 1

 The walls that guard my heart are thick and many. Life beats us up, I know it does you too. I think our natural reaction to that is to build walls. Pain sucks, anything we can do to avoid it seems like a good idea at the time, but what about later down the road when you've built so many of those walls that no one ever really gets in anymore and so lonely that the ache at the center of your soul never really gets soothed?

It seems to me that at that point, the walls aren't serving anymore... or did they ever?

We all have walls. Barriers placed around our hearts in the misguided notion that these walls will somehow protect us from pain, but when they don't, we think oh well, just build another, and another, and another because truth is, no one wall can ever truly protect you from everything, but what if we turned this around and looked at it from a different angle?

I was talking to my son last night about the concept of god. He says he doesn't like that his choices are do it god's way or bad things will happen for you and I thought, I see it complete opposite from that, I see it like life just sucks and god pops in with a life raft now and again and hell yeah I'm taking it. We all have such vastly different experiences in our life, in large part because we are all unique and never really see the same thing. Even if we are experiencing the exact same moment, we each react differently to it. We're all different. Different things trigger feelings of fear, joy, anxiety, in us all and I think the first thing we need to do is stop judging our friends, family, and acquaintances for their personal triggers and simply focus more inwardly and take care of ourselves because when we become more self aware, stronger, we don't need the walls.

Life can be ugly and bad things happen to all of us along our journey, but as I said, we all react to those things differently and I think that's something we all need to recognize. Just because I can withstand the pain of miscarriages, abuse and divorce, but I crumble at the sight of a messy house, does not make me weak, crazy, or off in some sense. Its just the way my filters take things in and where I've built strength over the years and where time and experiences have eroded my bandwidth. My strengths and weakness are infinitely different from yours, but in the grand scheme of things, that's exactly as it should be, because then together, we'll be stronger. That's the whole point, because in the end we weren't meant to travel through life alone, we were meant to be a part of something, someone else. Whether that be family, kids, friends, or a romantic partner, we are all better off when we have close relationships in our life.

I've been dealing with my walls a lot this year in particular in the sense of trying to figure out who's safe and who's not. In other words I'm learning that I don't just have to live behind this maze of walls all the time, it is okay to let people in. I've also begun to learn there is a big difference between walls and boundaries. What a valuable lesson.

The way I see it, a wall is something thick you cloak yourself in to keep people out. A boundary is a flagged area to tell people "Be careful where you step, this is mine and its most likely delicate." Taking down walls requires work. It requires you to forcibly be vulnerable and chance wounding, but I think the thing I'm realizing is that I've been broken a lot in my lifetime, I always heal, so with that in mind, I risk the pain intentionally knowing that if it works, I've gained something and if it doesn't, I'll be okay. Its a calculated risk, I'm not super daring, never have been, I don't think that's going to change in my mid forties, however, that doesn't mean I need to accept the brokenness I've become. I don't have to live behind all these walls alone for the rest of my life. I want to let people in. I want to connect. I crave it, but it won't happen, not really, if I don't learn to live without the walls.

Boundaries great! Walls, I don't need them. I don't need to hide from pain. Pain is an integral part of our human existence, without it we wouldn't learn, we wouldn't appreciate the beauty we have all around us, and we wouldn't truly know the depths of love. For when we trulylove something, at some point, it hurts us. What we do with that wound changes the flow of love, it can deepen the love, or begin to shut it off.

Fact of the matter is, walls don't really protect us, theychange us. We have to adapt into something other than we were when we built them in order to continue to function behind them. I'm intentionally deconstructing my walls. Turning some into boundaries and getting rid of all the rest. Do I think it will be an easy or fast project, no I really don't. I imagine it will be slow, painful and riddled with missteps, but I think in the end, it will all be worth it. I'll be free from the inside and able to walk in the sunshine again. I'll make a better partner for someone who will now be able to see the me that's genuine and not constantly be frustrated with the walls he runs headlong into.

At the end of the day it comes down to self confidence in a way. Do I think I can handle my heart, my feelings and my emotions without these artificial barriers to intimacy or do I not? I desire to be a strong, confident, self controlled woman, so the answer for me has to be yes, I can handle this... what about you?

Next week I'm going to continue this topic on how these walls I have up affect my art so be sure to come back! ;-) I'm working on a health post for tomorrow or Wednesday and have had a minor breakthrough on the whole soul mate topic which I'll post Thursday, so until next time ~ Samantha 

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