Some of us have spent the majority of our life fighting—trying to survive, trying to defend ourselves from the prospect of getting hurt. We have become so accustomed to fighting that we forget even warriors need to rest.
Our guards become less about protecting us from possible harm and more about keeping anyone who could make us vulnerable at bay. Do you notice that when we are lashing out on others, it is typically those who care for us? We have become people, especially true for men, who fear vulnerability. It is easier to stay out of the arena, to avoid having to be brave when we feel emotionally exposed. We become terrified of the idea that anyone could look into our eyes and see our soul—our purist self.
I have come to learn that we are all warriors at war with our past. The trauma and insecurities that stem from our past impact how we cope with who we are today. It limits our ability to connect; we begin to think we deserve less because past experiences have indicated that we are worthless. The truth is: we are worth more than we will ever fully understand. Our value can’t be lessened by the number of times we experience rejection, heartache, or loss.
Even with all of our armor on—the shield: protects our heart; the helmet: protects our mind; and the sword: when all else fails, we must be willing to fight back, nothing changes the fact that we are human. When we remove our armor, we are left with our flesh and our traumas still lingering in the air of our memories. We sleep because even warriors need rest but who can sleep with all that armor on? For a brief period of our day we remove the armor so that we can try to sleep as comfortably as possible.
However when we attempt to dream, we sometimes imagine a future where love blooms, and it all quickly turns into a nightmare. We have become people who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, with any possibility of love triggering within us our deepest fears. Our armor doesn’t only protect us; it numbs us from ever truly feeling love. Our attempt to experience love in our past left us wounded, with our flesh burnt and our limbs broken. We’re afraid of fighting for love because every war in history has shown us that bloodshed is unavoidable.
But can you afford to avoid love?
Simply put: no you can not afford to avoid love. Dr. Brené Brown says we are hardwired for human connection, for love and belonging. It’s okay to remove your armor, it’s okay to allow someone to see you for exactly who you are. You are worthy of love.