By: Dana Zillgitt, Regular Contributor
The one thing people always ask me is “why are your walls so high? Why do they exist at all?” and I honestly wish I could answer that question. I wish I could pinpoint an exact moment where I decided to build walls around my secret garden of a heart but I can’t. There is no exact moment where there was a before and after decision made. And I truly wish I didn’t push people away when I need them the most. But it’s funny, when you feel like you’re breaking, you reach out little by little in the smallest ways. And it’s hard to explain when people know you’re hurting but the only way you know how to reach out is by getting brunch, going on a hike, getting coffee somewhere, and just genuinely hanging out without talking about what was bothering you. Because sometimes, you need to know people still want to hang out with you, just shooting the shit and not talking about anything serious.
Having walls up isn’t necessarily always a bad thing. It can protect you in a strange way at first, so you know you’re not just letting anybody in. But it can also shield you from somebody who genuinely wants to love you and get to know you. It can be a preventative measure against exactly what you’re looking for. But what I’ve learned about my walls is that they are slowly starting to come down. They’re slowly breaking brick by brick. And I know it’s not easy being friends with somebody who can’t easily open up but trust me when I say, my walls are a lot shorter than they were before.
So how do I change these walls of mine? How do I actually open up to people while still protecting my own best interests? Clearly, I still need to protect myself so that I don’t let anybody in. But my walls need to be flexible in the sense that not everybody is going to hurt me. And I will never find any relation of value without taking a chance. Without believing that I am worth vulnerability and showing some form of raw emotion.
Steps to take to break my walls down? Start moving. Start fostering relations with people I admire and cutting those who fundamentally do not move me any longer. My walls are solely needed as a measure to protect myself against mal intent, not against the entire world. And putting myself first does not mean I need to shut other people out. It just means that I appreciate myself enough to be surrounded by the best.
What are some positives about making boundaries and building walls? How are they healthy? Have some discussion here!
Dana has her BA in International Affairs & Spanish as well as a mild obsession with rescue animals and all things caffeinated. She’s mastered the art of the selfie, fort building, and even the sass battle. Plus, she can quote 95% of Anchorman and Zoolander.
image via women24.com