The Great Wall of China was designed to serve two purposes, keeping the Mongol barbarians out and the people in. It was somewhat successful for the first task, and quite successful on the second.
How does this relate to the human condition? Well, it’s quite the metaphor. To protect ourselves, we create defensive wall to shield our heart from those that would hurt it (the Mongols.) They are not allowed in nor allowed to see or harm our vulnerable parts, or so we think. We actually advertise this part, but more on this at another time. Before I go further we need to understand intimacy. In-to-me-see, this incorporates the required act of faith-based vulnerability. Scary thought aye! This means letting others in, letting down those defensives, justifications and behaviors most develop as means of isolation. Of course, they see it as means of protection, but it’s not. The operative word is isolation and its cousin’s abandonment and loneliness. In order to find true connected love, you must be willing to risk being hurt. Allow me to share a little poem I wrote in the mid-seventies about this called Life:
Like a summer’s flower you’ve come, thought your thorns draw blood I embrace you.
To be honest, I sometimes, run, hide, isolate, make excuses, or use any of the multitude of tricks I have up my sleeves to NOT GET HURT. Oh yes, I do all those things too. However, there are lots of times I risk it all, go “all in,” wear my heart on my sleeve. And I do get hurt; and I don’t like it one bit. It would be easy to fall back, raise the shield walls, and sometimes I do, but I know to let them down. If not, I know I will remain alone, unfulfilled. This is not like the immediacy of a hurt; it is the dull ache that remains constant, a companion. I do keep “busy,” but that is not enough in the long run and the dull ache sometimes grows to the constant sound of a jet engine roaring in your ears. Then, it becomes time to find another distraction; distraction upon distraction, to the end of days. And worse yet, I recognize that those distractions (another word for addictions) are just another form of protectionism, bricks in the wall that China built.
So let’s get down to it. Everything you do to protect your heart, every excuse, justification, busy work, etc. hurts you. Oh, and as a side thought, it hurts those you are involved with too. Inside you know this too, which further adds to your inner unhappiness. So the only possible workable solution is to let go, open up and let love in, allow it to happen. Now, this doesn’t mean discard your head, “trust but verify” being the operative program. Question what doesn’t feel right. If the answer still doesn’t feel right, ask more questions till it does, step back to digest and let the answers given, answer the inner question. Sometimes the trite answers I have received indicated much greater issues. Question these and if unworkable, sadly you may have to step away. Been there, done that. Wish it weren’t so. So keep moving, but be open as much as you humanly can. Believe in love, believe in love. Guess whose coming to dinner, to every dinner you will ever have? You. So believe in love and allow it in or you will never have the fulfillment you crave. We all want connection. Unfortunately, many find the cost too much to bear.
My personal experiences to date have shown me to look for deep connection, not quick “fun” ones. What I have seen though is, so many people looking, and when they find it they hunker down in their bunkers and take pot shots at love. They figure that if they shoot at love enough, what they don’t kill will be real. Brilliant aye. Think about this, have you done this? Does it ever produce love, or a trail of bodies and lost love? I will leave you with that thought to mull over, perhaps to influence your next act of – love, connection, or buying more ammo.
I know when it hurts, it hurts badly, like you want it all to end. But a life of isolation, even in a gilded cage, without the risk of loving for me is meaningless. Not so it seems for everyone. You decide what your life means and live it. Blessings on the journey.