In this guest blog I am sharing the wisdom of Jenn Wood, from Infinite You. I hope you find this blog helpful.
Have you ever had something happen to you that crushed you to your very core and you swore you would NEVER let that happen again???
Yah, me too. And if you’re anything like me, you’ve likely convinced yourself that in order to protect yourself and your now fragile heart, you must build a solid wall around it to keep it nice and safe from any further devastation.
I mean, it seems like pretty legit reasoning. Someone breaks your heart so you declare you will never let anyone get too close to you again. Or you get cheated on and believe that never trusting anyone is the way to make sure it doesn’t happen a second time. Maybe even you’ve been let down so many times that you believe that its best to just not get excited about anything ever again to avoid that crushing disappointment.
It’s easy to believe that just shutting yourself off is the safest most effective way to protect yourself from future upset, but it couldn’t be further from the truth.
When we build walls around our heart, or when we guard ourselves, we are actually not only shutting ourselves off from receiving any potential heartache, but we are also shutting ourselves off from receiving any sort of real love or joy.
So aren’t you just hurting yourself more in the long run???
What I have come to realize over the past few years is that the walls I built to keep me safe were directly responsible for me getting hurt in the first place.
Yep, you heard right.
Think of it this way, when my parents split up at the age of 8 I didn’t really feel like I was too bothered by it, but what I saw come after that was the beginning of my walls forming.
My dad owned his own business and my mom stayed home to look after us kids, so when they split she was literally starting over from scratch. Going back to college at the age of 35, sitting in a classroom with, what I can only imagine being, a bunch of hungover 20 somethings who were not just there for an education, but to also get the most out of their college experience. (Side note, this is only my assumption, a conclusion I came to when I was sitting in one of my own college classes feeling slightly nauseous after and evening of tequilas the night before and looking at the 40 year old woman sitting front and centre so eager to learn while I reminisced with my friends at the back of the class about how much beers we smashed last night.)
I didn’t realize how hard that must have been for my mom at the time until I too was in college, I had no kids and minimal responsibility and I remember thinking back on how she would have had the same workload as I was struggling with on top of raising my sister and I, helping us with our own homework, and not to mention all the other stresses that come with being a 35 year old mom of 2 that my 20 something self couldn’t possibly fathom at the time.
I vowed at that point that I would never let myself get in that situation, I would never allow myself to be taken care of by any man and that no matter what, I would never depend on anyone financially. I needed to make sure that no matter where life took me, I would always be able to take care of me.
Now I know what you’re thinking, what could possibly be wrong about that mentality? Why is being self sufficient a bad thing?
My answer to you is this, because where I struggled, was with moderation. I had made that demand and was hell bent on being an independent woman, and I did so to a fault.
I built those walls so strong and so fierce that come hell or high-water there was nothing that would come through and put me in that position. So what did that mean?
It meant I was unable to receive any help, from anyone, including my husband. It meant that I constantly had one foot out the door in preparation for a potential divorce, because I needed to make sure that if and when it happened, I would be ready. It meant that I was unable to fully let my guard down, ever, which ultimately resulted in me pushing away anyone who ever really loved me, as a way of keeping myself safe.
Now, I’m not blaming my parents for any of this, please please please don’t misunderstand my message that way. I’m truly grateful for their divorce, and I admire what they went through to ultimately find their own happiness, it was truly a blessing for all of us really. That just happens to be the example I chose to use to illustrate my point. There are many many reasons for the walls that I had built over time and not all of our walls are created as a result of our own personal heartbreak, some are simply because we’ve witnessed something that left an imprint on how we carry out our own lives, we experience these circumstances and don’t even realize what kind of effect they have had on us until well into our adult years.
These walls I built might have allowed me to become independent but they also stopped me from letting anyone really love me for who I really was. They might have shut out any form of dependency but they also shut out any chance at real authentic connection too.
That’s the thing with walls, they don’t just shut out the crappy stuff, they shut out all the good stuff along with it.
A lot of these realizations appeared as my husband and I were going through our own impending divorce. As we finally opened up to one another about our fears and what it was that we were so guarded from, I realized that keeping myself safe was actually what was hurting me all along. Combine that with his own walls and it’s no surprise we were falling apart after only a few short years of being together.
On top of all this, not only was I sheltering myself from receiving love, I was actually manifesting everything I didn’t want by preparing for the potential doomsday.
We never really stood a chance.
I have had many people reach out to me, clients, friends, all who have found comfort in my willingness to be open about mine and my husbands struggles, and a lot of them find themselves at the same dead end road.
“How did you ever begin to trust someone again after they hurt you like that??”
And my answer to them is this.
Tear down your walls.
Stop letting your past control your future. Stop trying to protect yourself from being hurt and start allowing yourself to really feel the love thats in your heart. Stop putting your trust in others and start putting your trust in yourself and the universe.
I do trust my husband, 10 times more now than I did the day we got married. I trust him and love him with my whole heart which I don’t think I can say was the case on our wedding day. I can say this now because it was with him that I was able to acknowledge the walls that we had built and it was together that we were able to tear them down and allow ourselves to love with everything we had and not from a guarded heart. Am I naive enough to think that there is no possible way I will ever get cheated on again?
Absolutely not, I have no idea what the future holds, for me, for him, for us. But what I do know is that right now, in this moment, he is my forever person and loves me more then I could have ever even imagined, and if that changes I also know that I will be ok because more then I trust any one person, I do trust in the universe and my ability to always find the blessing in every circumstance.
No one enjoys getting hurt, but if we spend our whole lives protecting ourselves from the possibility of experiencing pain are we ever fully living in joy??
I get excited about things that may or may not work out because I love the feeling of anticipation that something wonderful is about to happen. Sure, it doesn’t always work out the way I had hoped in my head, and of course I naturally feel disappointment when this happens, but the solution for me isn’t to stop getting excited, the solution for me is about becoming more excited about what else is possible that I hadn’t even considered.
Getting your heart broken sucks, and sometimes its hard as hell to not let yourself fall victim to the disappointment, but we can’t allow ourselves to shy away from being excited out of fear of getting let down.
I’ve been hurt, a lot. I’ve been let down, shot down, lied to and taken advantage of. I’ve had my heart broken more times than I can count and all of these experiences have helped me grow as a person.
I’ve learned that the solution to getting your heart hurt is not protecting it from love, it’s loving stronger and harder than you’ve ever loved before. It’s about opening your heart and loving with everything you have and its about realizing that the only way to heal fully and completely is to tear all your walls down so that nothing will get in the way of you receiving the love you are so longing for.
Our walls are not what keep our hearts safe. It’s filling your heart with as much love as humanly possible that makes it the strongest. Don’t let your past hurts ruin your future joy. Tear down those walls and love like your life depends on it…because it does.
Originally retrieved from https://infiniteyou.ca/do-you-have-your-guard-up/?unapproved=41&moderation-hash=cecd142c8bd99deaee713ff0e9eac48b#comment-41
Tammy Adams loves to problem solve, inspire and motivate others who are ready and committed to change. Tammy has spent over 30 years in the field of education and as a Certified Life and Executive Coach Tammy teaches individuals to challenge and conquer their limiting beliefs and insecurities to create the life of their choosing. As a Grief Recovery Method Specialist Tammy understands that unresolved grief can limit an individual’s capacity for happiness and is gifted at supporting individuals through the pain and isolation cause by an emotional loss, of any kind, to a place of happiness they believed no longer existed. Tammy’s clients say, “Tammy helped me unpack the baggage and put a smile on my face in the process. It’s a rare quality for someone to fully listen without judgement but yet still steer you in the right direction.”