Are your walls keeping people in or keeping people out?

With crisis comes vulnerability. When the unexpected happens, we are often confronted with the limits of our mortality. We realize that we can be deeply affected and influenced. The walls that we build around us get shaken, questioned, or torn down.

Fear is on our horizon.

Sometimes, when we are really scared we try to build more walls. We don’t want other people to see us. We snap at people we care about and become strict with ourselves about who sees our pain. We deny our pain to others. We can’t let other people in. We make promises to ourselves that we will never be that open, intimate, or invested in a relationship again. We can’t let other people care about us, and we become calloused to influence.  We aren’t able to receive compassion or see how much alike we are.

Last week I read a post about some people who were trying to make sense of 9/11. This book really touched me when I read it. Ultimately, there was a question of what walls we wanted to build. And in general how much of the world we want to let in. Surviving a crisis forces us to consider those questions.

Sometimes disappointment can be so unbearably painful that it makes sense to be a little cautious. On the other hand, allowing our fear to dominate our ability to be human, to make mistakes, to feel pain, to take risks, and to be vulnerable can prevent us from experiencing intimacy and connection.

Are the walls you build keeping you safe and protected or are they preventing you from reaching out, taking risks, and having a fulfilling and meaningful life?