Protecting Your Heart

“You don’t protect your heart by acting like you don’t have one.” Unknown Author

Adam has been married for 15 years and over those years there had been plenty of hurtful words, disappointments and unmet expectations between them. So much so that he built a metaphorical wall around his heart to protect himself from being hurt again.

He stopped making himself vulnerable, stopped sharing his thoughts and needs, and kept himself at an emotionally safe distance.

He stopped talking about how he was feeling, about his dreams…existing on conversations about the logistics of the home and the kids.

He stopped engaging in the marriage…stopped making advances toward his wife…stopped seeing her as a partner in life and more as someone he needed to guard himself against.

So, he built up a big, tall, brick wall barrier…

Too tall for her to scale…even though she is trying…

Too solid to easily break…even though he desperately wanted connection…

But here’s the thing: it’s lonely behind that brick wall…isn’t it?

We think we’re protecting ourselves:

Can I trust that this time will be different?

Is she really sincere?

If I let down my guard, I’ll just get hurt again…

It’s an instinct…but it doesn’t serve us.

 

Most of the men who reach out to me – who have built up this metaphorical wall, really WANT to be able to trust their partners again….want to trust that this time will be different…want to have hope again. But they don’t allow themselves that luxury.

But when you think about it, what are we really protecting ourselves from?

Your brain tells you it’s from being hurt again…

If you don’t get your hopes up, you won’t be disappointed.

But that’s not true.

Even if you don’t get your hopes up and the one you love says something hurtful, you will…in fact, be hurt.

If you love someone, you are exposing yourself to being hurt by that person. It’s a risk. It’s real.

But what if you only have two options in life:

Option A: Protect your heart behind the tall brick wall, so that you’re never hurt again…but you live a pretty lonely life back there all by yourself…where you’re never fully seen or known, but never feel the hurt of disappointment.

Or…

Option B: Love fully, completely, recklessly,  knowing that you might get hurt, but you also might create the kind of love that you’ve only allowed yourself to dream about.

 

We know what option A looks like, don’t we?

With Option B, at least we open ourselves to a possibility that didn’t exist previously.

 

What’s Your Choice?

 

I will choose Option B every day of the week.

I love with my whole heart.

And that means my heart might get hurt.

I’m willing to take that risk for the possibility of a love most don’t give themselves permission to wish for.

Plus, I’ve been hurt before and it hasn’t taken me down yet.

Maybe it’s time we come out from hiding behind that brick wall and open ourselves to possibility.

 

What’s the worst that can happen?