There are many people, myself included, that walk around each day with our guard up. It is common place for many to don an emotional cape of protection akin to that of a super hero. Many people have been hurt so badly by those close to us that we have built defenses we may not even be aware of. It is all in an effort to keep ourselves from suffering from the same hurt again. Unfortunately, far too often, those defenses are unneeded and often end up preventing us from realizing amazing opportunities that are presented to us on a regular basis.
Have you known someone, or maybe even yourself, who had a tremendous opportunity in front of them but end up pushing it away? They end up squandering it by turning around and running from it, all because they are fearful that if they allow themselves to be open, to be vulnerable, they may get hurt in the end? It may be a new employment opportunity. It may be a new relationship. It may even be something as simple as being the first one to say you’re sorry. I know that I can admit to reacting this way at times as well as being on the receiving end.
Think about that for a minute. It really doesn’t make a lot of sense does it? You consciously choose not to take a chance on something for fear of getting hurt or failing. Yet ironically, by choosing not to explore what lies before you, you are inherently hurting yourself and in a sense, failing.
I understand that we are emotional creatures and because of that we can’t avoid these types of choices sometimes. We all have things in our past which can hinder our ability to accept new opportunities in our lives. This is especially true if we haven’t fully dealt with our past. When we don’t deal with our past properly the likelihood of us pushing away or refusing to accept good that comes into our lives is much higher. We will continually miss opportunities and worse yet, may look back someday with regret and sorrow.
Sometimes our avoidance of people or situations may be unavoidable. However, it is more likely that we can minimize our tendency to do so by really dealing with and working through our past hurts and disappointments. It’s not always easy confronting our past but we must find the courage to do so in order to live a full life; to prevent cheating ourselves from really good fortune and joy when it comes our way.
It certainly is a matter of trust and for many, unfortunately, trust is something that is a great struggle. We all want to feel safe but when trust is broken we end up losing, piece by piece, the layers of security that make us feel comforted and safe. When that happens it can be quite scary and typically transcends to all areas of our life. When our trust is broken it is easy to become jaded. As a society, we need to do a better job of making those around us feel safe. Not just physically but emotionally as well. Often, the emotional baggage that some carry with them is more excruciating than any physical pain could ever be.
What it comes down to is that we need to treat one another better. It’s as simple as being kind to those around us; to be respectful towards one another. That, in itself, will make even a stranger feel safer in their world. For those close to us and even strangers for that matter, if we could promise each one of them safety we might just change more than we could imagine.
I promise to do my part.
I promise to give others safety.
I promise them safety to be themselves.
I promise them safety and help in trying to figuring out who they are.
I promise them safety to help them not loose who they are when they are in my presence.
I promise them safety in knowing that when I fail them I will do everything I can to make it right.
I promise that in the quest for my own safety I will not jeopardize theirs.
What are you willing to promise for your own safety and that of others?
Be Great! Be Strong! Be Determined!
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