Walls Around My Heart
Over the years, I have built up walls around my heart. Because of things I have gone through in the past — hurts, rejections, disappointments — I have built these ramparts to protect myself. A lot of us have walls up to protect us from getting hurt. We somehow think that if we isolate our hearts — the center of our emotions and feelings — that we will not get hurt again.
Sometimes that’s true. Those of us that have fortified hearts don’t allow others into the inner sanctuary of our true selves. We allow people to come in only so far until they are subtly reminded that there is a wall there that says no entry. It’s a defense against getting hurt.
Sometimes, people even build up a wall to keep God out of their inner sanctuary.
But we were not meant to live in isolation. We were not meant to live without others. God created humanity to be interdependent upon one another. We are not meant to be co-dependent but interdependent. We need each other. We need the comfort of another human being during our times of distress, anxiousness, and sadness. We need the strength of another human being when we are struggling and are weak.
We need another human being to see our frailties, weaknesses and failings in order for us to realize that we are lovable and worth immense value despite our brokenness and imperfections. We need another human being to see the shambles of our lives and tell us that it’s going to be okay.
That cannot, and will not happen, if we keep people out of the innermost places of our hearts.
For those that have walls built, because of hurt, rejection, being let down, trauma, disappointment or betrayal by someone close to you, you have most likely stated, “that will never happen to me again.” To keep it from happening again, you build a wall.
Some of us not only have a wall, but we have also built a moat and have a drawbridge. We’ve “castled our heart” to keep the bad people out.
The problem is that in protecting ourselves from the bad people, we’ve also denied ourselves the good ones.
I know because this is how I have lived for a long time . . . with a fort around my heart because I don’t want to get hurt again. I don’t want to be betrayed again. I don’t want to allow myself to get too close to people. And it’s stopped me from receiving the very thing I long for, the very thing I need….love.
I know that people love me. Love is to be shared between two or more people. Love is like a dance. It’s an intimate movement between two people. Love is not supposed to be one sided. The hope of loving someone is for them to love you back. When you have walls up to keep people at a distance, it’s hard to dance the dance of love with them. It’s hard to share intimate moments because you have people at arms length.
Many of us are like two awkward twelve-year-olds at our first dance. We are simply facing each other with enough room to put someone else between us as we shuffle our feet back and forth. Love is meant to be intimate, two souls touching one another in the deepest recesses of the heart. Love is allowing someone else to see you in all your glory and all your weaknesses. Love is allowing someone to see your best and your worst, knowing that they are not going to leave you. Love is knowing that you are valuable to someone else not because of what you have done or not done, but simply because you are.
When you have walls around your heart, you cannot experience the depth of that love, either with another human being or with your Heavenly Father. We were created to have these deep connections with other human beings as well as our Father.
Because of the brokenness of humanity, we have all experienced pain, trauma, hurt and betrayal at the hands of someone who loved us. We have caused pain, trauma, hurt and betrayal to someone else ourselves. We may very well be the reason someone else has put up a wall.
I know that God has been dealing with me about my walls. I know that He has been asking me to let Him in past the protective layers of my fortress. I know that, like the walls of Jericho, He wants to demolish those walls so that He and I can dance the dance of love. As I allow Him to do that, He is also asking me to let others in. Jesus came that we might be free, but we will never be free as long as we have a wall up around our heart.
What about you? Do you have walls built up? Do you find it hard to “let people in?”