Protective Walls or Prison Walls?

Make sure that the walls you build to protect yourself do not become a prison.” – Yung Pueblo

The Dilemma Around Having a Trusting, Open heart

It is very difficult when you have trusted someone deeply … and you’ve shared your true self with them … then that person broke your heart. The damage that it causes affects everything in life. It changes you completely. You lose your innocence.

Why We Build Walls

And in fact, it is instinctive to protect ourselves from harm – so we are never wounded or hurt like this again. And taking this position is an act of real self-love. It says that: “I have value, and I won’t be pushed around.”

The Problems Around Building Walls

But problems can arise when these strong walls become so solid that no-one can get near us, or ever touch our heart.  And, yes, we feel less fragile; more in control of life. But it can isolate us, and cut us off from love.

What to do About it

Below are some suggestions – some steps which you can take – to start to change those patterns, and deconstruct your walls:

1. Consider exploring the pain of the past with a counsellor or therapist. When doing this, choose someone who has specific training in trauma counselling.

2. Try to think about who – among your family and close friends – you could allow yourself to be more open and vulnerable with. This should be someone you feel safe with, and someone you believe that you can genuinely trust.

Also, the process of slowly opening up has to be done in small steps. Small steps which allow you to pull back if you feel you need to, and which allow you to slowly and carefully reflect on what this experience is like for you.

3. Keep working on your mental and emotional well-being.  This includes continuing to focus on self-compassion, self-kindness, self-esteem and self-worth.

4. Remind yourself that there is no schedule for working through this process. And it shouldn’t be something you feel pressurized to do. The most important thing is that you’re taking down the bricks in a way, and at a pace, which you find works for you. Always … you make the decisions. And you are in control. You’re doing this for you, and not for anybody else.

7 thoughts on “Protective Walls or Prison Walls?

    • Yes, one mark of healing is being willing to take that risk again, and actively stepping out and making yourself vulnerable to someone. That one step leads to other steps, and eventually to greater healing. The fact is we really DO heal in relationships. Thanks for your kind words too. I hope things are going well for you.


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