I learned a lot about myself this week. That’s usually the case lately when I break down. And one of the things they don’t tell you about the path toward self-discovery is that there will be MANY breakdowns.

The latest breakdown began last Friday/Saturday. It was one of those times when everything just sort of hits ya like a ton of bricks. BOOM! I felt crappy out of nowhere and for no apparent reason.

Over the next few days, I decided to just sit with the feelings – I didn’t push them away and I didn’t try to distract myself or “cheer” myself up.

In sitting with and unpacking all the feelings that were welling up from the deepest parts of my soul, I came to a shocking realization…I’m absolutely terrified of forming close bonds with people.

Now, I wasn’t always like this. It’s a recent development – let’s say in the past couple of years but it’s gotten really bad in the last 8 or 9 months. Yes, I know why. Yes, it’s because I got burned by people I cared about – but honestly, that’s neither here nor there for the purposes of this post. Suffice to say that lately I let people in but only to a point then I build a wall.

And when I say “wall” I mean the freaking Great Wall of China. Trust me, no one can throw up a wall faster or defend a wall more fiercely than I can. Hello, my name is Alison, and my superpower is building impenetrable walls.

In fact, I realized this week just how much time and energy I’ve spent in the past couple of years feverishly building walls to intentionally keep people at arms-length. The math was staggering.

Every wall I built had a different name. My favorite wall was the I Don’t Have Time Wall. But despite the names, each wall was – at its core – exactly the same as all the rest…I’m afraid that if I let you get too close, you’ll rip my heart out.

I’ve spent years learning to love all the parts of myself and I’m scared that if I let you in, you’ll see something you don’t like and leave. I’m afraid I’ll begin to adopt your disappointment in me as my own.

I can see now how much this fear and resistance has affected me and those around me. I can see that my beautifully-crafted vault-like walls have left me closed off to the outside world. I can see that it’s time to sow a different seed.

So today instead of continuing to build and defend walls, I started to tear them down.

 

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