Living each day much muchier

The Purpose of Walls

Before I built a wall, I’d ask to know
what I was walling in or walling out.
Robert Frost

Whenever I build a wall to protect myself against a real or perceived threat, I also trap my fear in with me. Walls are easy to build but difficult to remove, so they usually stay there long after the original threat has gone. After awhile, I don’t even notice the wall is there and the fear becomes part of my internal dialogue that influences how I act and feel.

The fear feels like me. It sounds like me and when it speaks, it says things I’m used to hearing that make sense to me … but you know what? It can’t be me. Regardless of how powerful it is, if I have to be convinced by it, then it is something external that exerts its dominance over my first impulse.

For example, my first impulse most of the time is to hug someone hello and goodbye but you wouldn’t know that, because my hugs are extremely rare. How bizarre, right? After being the unpopular kid throughout primary school, I built some phenomenally powerful walls to place some distance between myself and potential rejection. This wall does its job. I generally don’t get rejected. The wall is very good at it’s job… too good at its job.

Building a wall is never an either-or matter. I do not only wall in or wall out. It’s always, always both. I wish I had the answer on how to tear them down again when they’re no longer useful. Thing is, the wall always seems useful. Perhaps it’s a start just to recognise there are two impulses there and begin distinguishing between them. At least then I am aware that there is choice.

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This entry was posted on August 5, 2009 by in Living fully.
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Who am I?

Department of Words

Department of Words

Thinker. Writer. Photographer. Dancer. Not necessarily in that order.

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