I’ve discovered something so monumentally life impeding that dealing with it forced me to examine some very dark moments and tender places: I’ve been navigating my life with blinders on. I fashioned them with the sound, logical intent of never again falling prey to a certain type of pain.

I shifted my entire persona to guard and defend against any circumstance remotely similar to the event that brought me to my knees. I am fierce, strong, and powerfully capable. I master whatever I set my convictions to. Here, that wasn’t a good thing.

In my endeavor to build heavily fortified barriers to possible future pain, I walled myself into a place of constant vigilance, fear, and preemptive annihilation of anything even hinting at a threat. I stopped risking, believing in possibility, and being bold in this area. I stopped living.

As self-awareness dawned, I vacillated between the euphoric sense that, by letting go of my armor and defences, I would live more fully and avail myself to wondrous experiences and the contrasting foreboding, nakedness of knowing that I am vulnerable– the ravaging terror that consumed me could come for me again.

In truth, the walls of defense did nothing to protect me from future harm, they merely robbed me of present joy. Our lessons are ours to learn and we will not escape them by avoiding life.

If we are not living bravely, boldly, and fully, we are guaranteed a life of mediocrity. There is no slower poison.

Where have you walled life out? It’s time to bring the walls down.

October 17, 2010

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