Behind the wall
Something I realised late in life (in my mid thirties…..for me that is late!) was how I was living my life with limited enthusiasm at best. By this I mean that I was not fully engaging with the daily experiences that life was providing. I saw life as something to be managed, controlled and often avoided where possible.
It was like living behind a 40ft high wall on the other side of which was all the richness and beauty of life. I was stuck behind this wall because I believed the only way out was to climb over it and my fear of heights prevented this! The wall manifested itself in many ways such as comfort eating, binge drinking, sarcasm, hoarding, intellectualising and over-analysing everything, judging and dismissing others, denail, blaming and this was just on Mondays!
I had a plethora of defence mechanisms to keep me feeling safe, secure and in control. The truth of course was that I was never really in control, but this never stopped me from trying to keep control. All I ever got as a result was dysfunctional relationships, weight issues and acute stress. This hiding from life and defending myself from imagined fears and dangers was simply not working. And it took me 35 years to realise this.
So what was I really afraid of? Why the need to hide and stay out of life’s way? was it simply learned behaviour, or maybe a perverted way of getting attention or was it due to some repressed traumatic event that happened when I was very young and blocked it out rather than face the terror all over again?
Well I know my childhood was normal, which could mean that I was seriously traumatised and have blocked it out! But no, I know I cannot find a cause here. And anyway I believe the ‘why’ is not as important as the ‘what now’. Knowing what I know now, I can see that wall inside me and to stay there voluntarily seems not only mad but completely unnecessary. The wall had a purpose in my life. It was constructed by me to protect me from what I felt were risks in life. This wall did its job too well I would say and it has been very freeing to be able to step out from behind it and meet life head on with open arms.
My deepest fear was rejection, which can be brought right back to the deepest fear in the human unconscious, death of the self. Knowing and accepting this then makes it ok for me to go out and risk screwing up, making a fool of myself, being wrong, failing, getting hurt, laughed at or, even worse, ignored! My wall told me such things would kill me, I could not survive such events. I believed the wall for so long and that is why I habitually employed all the familiar and common defence mechanisms against life.
Ultimately all these defence mechanisms we employ are only hurting us, they prevent us from fully experiencing life and they all serve to keep our hearts closed in the false belief that a closed heart is a safe heart.
A closed heart is a dying heart, its as simple as that. Life cannot flow through a closed heart, you cannot feel the flow and magic of life if you are closed to it. Stepping out from behind my wall was me opening my heart and embracing the very things I was trying to avoid. But now I know that when I try to avoid what I am afraid of I am really just avoiding life and all the magic it wants to give me.
So, look at the defence mechanisms you use today, see if they are serving you at all and if you sense that they are not then drop them and trust what life does next. Remember your worst fears and insecurities are very often doorways to your greatest gifts and strengths. You will never realise this for yourself if you are always defending yourself from the monsters and demons your head dreamt up. There is nothing to fear, absolutely nothing, let down your defences and let the world in.