Taking a walk in our immediate big city neighborhoods or smaller town suburban landscapes there is always something to catch our eye. For some it may be the architectural cuts that make it exciting, for others the differently shaded corners making up the closed up networks we come to love and habitually spend our times in. So where does this Wall fit in? Just have a little patience and you will see…

One thing in common to all of the above is something we are probably trained to take for granted. We are so used to seeing this intricacy separated in distinctly boundaried spaces, in fenced-off and closed-off spaces, we tend to internalize the idea that if the physical spaces we inhabit and the heavily-defined hierarchical work environments we spend our energy in are so built, then so it must be in all aspects of our emotional lives as well.

“Having had our expectations crushed and trust betrayed we feel it a safe bet to stay from risky emotional gambling. It feels safer to stay inside our self-built bubbles where it’s only us that reign and nobody else.”

Our physical senses become accustomed to recognizing and experiencing limits, closed doors and restricted areas to which only those approved have access to. Then, it’s only natural to carry this assumption into expressing our inner worlds as well. Let’s call it The Wall of emotional barriers we impose not only to ‘outsiders’ but to ourselves as well. Why do we it though?

                                                 stop sign in the middle of the field

It’s easy

What’s more comfortable, laying out in the open our deepest fears and desires, being honest to ourselves and our loved ones, or burying these challenging questions somewhere in our subconscious minds and placing a sharply cut barb-wired fence around it? To that, dear readers, only you can give the answer to. But we might come to one agreement, and that is to confess that yes, it is difficult to do the above, and not just from time to time, but as consistently as we can. And, in order to be able to properly practice the exteriorization of our inner worlds, we may require help and a great deal of patience. This is one of those roads to which the end goal might never really be in our grasp, as paradoxically closer we do get to it.

We want to avoid the pain

Having got hurt in the past, having had our expectations crushed and trust betrayed we feel it a safe bet to stay from risky emotional gambling. It feels safer to stay inside our self-built bubbles where it’s only us that reign and nobody else. We then get used to avoiding riskier emotional entanglements, loving someone else seems a dangerous game to walk into.

“There are no villains or heroes, strictly defined roles to cling to, nor easy answers. We’re both our own enemies and heroes at the same time.”

The past dictating the future

It’s only normal and quite wise in fact to take a look at our past experiences and analyze the remains of our days. Is this performed though in a healthy manner, of assessing both the goods and the bads with a healthily detached sense of self? If not, the tendency we might feel tempted to resort to is to cling onto our past hurts. This in turn will get to mould a self-doubting future us, where putting trust into relationships feels like poking sharp needles into our open-wounded hearts that won’t let go of past pain. The past is there to help us learn from its mistakes, but to also revel in the valuable lessons those same mistakes have provided us with. The past isn’t there to keep us away from desired future. To keep reliving pain becomes a personal choice we could simply stop resorting to using if we so wished, but most importantly had the self-awareness to recognize it as such.

Closing ourselves off can easily turn into selfishness

I think it’s safe to say that one of the last things our world needs right now is more heaps of selfishness. And we all have to be very careful to the ways we too contribute to this selfish state by reluctantly clinging to old habits that only reinforce the same old hurt. Closing ourselves off though it may seem like the easiest and breeziest of choices in the heat of the moment, is truly an enemy in disguise.

“Choosing to stay away will not make conflict go away, it will only temporarily hide it and then make it pop up again when least expected.”

Countless relational issues stem from poor communication and badly handled misunderstandings. That is why openness and honesty do pay in the long run, as much as they might make us itchy all over the moment we commit to revealing them. Choosing to stay away will not make conflict go away, it will only temporarily hide it and then make it pop up again when least expected.

                                                     children looking towards the world

Tear your walls down with a healthy dose of self-acceptance

Maintaining loving relationships and forging new ones takes reaching out to others, not putting up the emotional Wall. Love isn’t proven by others jumping through the hoops we set up. Accepting that at times, even love might feel painful due to us imperfect human beings navigating this mysterious land, and that we may inadvertently come across bumps in the road is only part of the fun of it all. But that doesn’t mean the path itself is wrong or that the bumps can’t be overcome. Those bumps may not even have all that much to do with blaming anyone. There are no villains or heroes, strictly defined roles to cling to, nor easy answers. We’re both our own enemies and heroes at the same time.

This is where self-acceptance and understanding that nobody else’s words, thoughts and behavior will ever be enough to validate ourselves, come in. It won’t ever be other people’s fault nor responsibility to make you happy by agreeing to cater to your bad habits anyway. Have the faith that you are your own best leader and take those emotional training wheels off. You never really needed them in the first place.

Is this enough to make you tear down your Wall, yet?

O.P.

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2145450/pdf/canfamphys00120-0091.pdf

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/presence-mind/201508/4-ways-set-boundaries