I've met many people who live behind walls. This usually happens because they've been hurt. After taking so much, they start building walls, and every time they get hurt, or disappointed, another brick in the wall of defense goes up. Eventually, they spend their lives in defense mode.
Relationships with such folks is always from a distance; there are no other options. The few people who may be let inside their fortress know the rules: Hurt me, and you're out. Conversations with defensive people are painful; the walls almost tangible. Every word you say is measured and weighed and studied for an underlying meaning. It's exhausting.
People living behind walls have few close friends and strained family relationships, because it’s hard for them to receive love. And you can't blame the ones who try for giving up and walking away. Who wants to talk to a wall every day? Who wants to walk on eggshells every day? If you feel your benevolence toward another person is always in vain, then what's the point?
The truth is it’s a bit scary out here in the world of relationships without walls. And sometimes, you do get hurt, your heart left in a million pieces. But the higher your walls become, the lonelier you’ll be, because nobody can tear down your walls for you; neither can they fully love you behind them.
We've all known pain. We've all been hurt. Sometimes, it hurts so much you’d just as soon not wake up. Such is this thing called life. But in order to be completely loved, in order for any relationship to have the slightest chance of growing deep and full and long, you have to break down the walls of defense. You have to become vulnerable again.
I can’t tell you it will be easy, but I can tell you the freedom that follows, to love without restraint or fear, is invigorating.
Until next time, sweet friends, go ahead and tear down those walls. Let yourself run free. Take a chance on relationships. The rewards can be worth it all.