Defenses are like that…they grow if we always stand behind them, protecting ourselves and using them to separate us from the other. In fact, I sense that hearts harden when they are defended. We defend because we fear. We fear the sting of being wrong or being wronged. Its natural and yet, not so helpful.
Dogs that live behind fences often grow a personality of viciousness and aggression. They hold a fierce protective stance.….guarding is their highest priority.
Does this sound familiar to you?
Do you know the place in you that wants to guard your heart to protect it from hurt?
Or perhaps this resembles certain people in your life? How do you feel in response to them?
This morning after walking by a particular white dog that sees me almost every single day and every day barks loudly at me rushing from one end of the enclosure to the other, I thought about a situation in my business life where it seems that no amount of reaching out with my heart has done anything to change the defensive stance that this person has. She has built a fence of separation between us. Once we build a fence that says this is MY space and I will protect my yard/heart no matter what, it only serves to make us even more divided.
Just like with some of the dogs in my neighborhood I keep trying different approaches to gain their openness…to make friends. Nothing works.
My heart is incredibly heavy with this for I sense it as a microcosm of what is going on more and more frequently and dramatically in the world. We are dividing ourselves, and being divided by a political system that is based on an "us and them" paradigm. We have countries that strive to hold onto what is “theirs” vs. what is’ ours together’, and the divide between believers and non-believers grows.
Defense is forefront.
A wall between countries again??
Keep them out and us in??
How does that grow us?
How do we learn more about living together when everything seems focused on the fear based way of shutting each other out?
What if its true that inside each fearsome
growling defense is a
vulnerable and terrified little heart
that longs to be known?
What if we took down the fence…the defenses?
Like the happy dogs set free in the dog park…they work it out.
We actually need each other.
Let’s dare to feel what we feel in the presence of another.
That is what hearts know how to do…to feel….to break….to be opened again. What if we let them?
It is scary, I know, but shutting others out or ourselves in, is so much more excruciating. That only serves to isolate and leave us alone to dwell in our own hurt.