The nature of hurt is a protective hardening. It heeds and is hypersensitive to perceived warnings of “don’t”, so much so that it often re-wires them as “can’t”. Doubt barricades them into safe worlds where they are capable and can function. Never mind that each day looks the same. With nothing new to experience, they become beacons of gratefulness. If what you have is small and confined you must notice and appreciate the details to stay sane.
A wall of concrete is proud of its structure. It is impenetrable. Not rain nor wind nor cold nor heat can influence its shape. It refuses to absorb. It simply stands, day after day, untouched and uninviting, protecting contents that invite no one to approach. From the outside, a wall is just a wall. It can be sized up from a distance, and assures, with a glance, to any contemplative observer, that their curiosity is not worth the effort. A wall is not meant to be breached.
It functions as intended. The laborious act of its construction reaps the passive enjoyment of its protection a thousand fold. It needs very little to maintain itself, shaping both the internal and external environment. It is not open and does not welcome, forcing everything to work around it and ultimately pass it by. A wall views the ground as something that has been conquered, fully oblivious that its vast, steady existence far exceeds its own.
Physical hurt cements against movement. Emotional hurt cements against vulnerability. Either perspective assumes there are controllable forces that are seeking to destroy. Walls only have purpose and meaning if acted against. Otherwise they are an illusion — a waste of resources and energy. No one wants to admit their work and appreciation was in vain, so within their walls they sit, admiring all that they have done with their space. Enjoying takes effort in this place they have built.
Marking territory on what is limitless confines you to the reach of past choices. There is no room for expanding when cultivating a singular plot. Here is what you own, what is yours is familiar, and within familiar is where you wish to remain. Focus may shift but possibility narrows. The comfort of no pain and no risk is intoxicating.
Resistance is a feat of strength as much as it is a failure to relax. It requires more and more effort to stay in the same place. No wonder this leads us to a stillness that freezes, paralyzing both body and mind. Our immediate concern revolves around tending to our needs and that of which we inhabit, trying to stay ahead of the impending chaos. We’ve made it impossible for others to know or reach us, let alone care for that which they cannot see.
To see and be seen, we must look past our walls.
The walls themselves serve as a memorial to the hurt, a constant reminder to separate ourselves from pain and the potential of pain. We dislike the worse that comes before the better, so we settle for as is. We have already suffered, and we deserved it. We don’t want any more. We don’t believe that good will come from this.
We want what we can manage. We manage what we can control. What has become automatic and habitual does not clutter our lives nor ask for the mental energy to make decisions. It is easy here. Change, then, can only make things harder.
To challenge our present state of being, we must look past our walls.
Undoing what we have done demands momentum. We have to be convinced to look over and past our confines. Though we know how to gather we have forgotten how to take direction. We have done just fine on our own, and persevered. Toughened, we remain. That’s all we were supposed to want.
But the context has changed. Today, we hear laughter on the other side of the wall. A beautiful bird with a lovely song flies in. It sits and converses with you and you love it. Too soon, it is up and back out again. It is on the ground just on the other side of the wall. It has stopped singing since you stopped looking at it.
To get more from this life, we must look past our walls.
The disruptors are everywhere. They keep circling around you despite your busyness and no thank yous. Pay attention. Your heart will know immediately what to follow. It is more sure than your head will ever be.