“When we protect ourselves so we won’t feel pain, that protection becomes like armor, like armor that imprisons the softness of the heart.” ~ Pema Chodron
Please think carefully about this quote. It’s so important! Our defenses, up to a certain point, can help to protect us from harm. There comes a time, though, that our fear of being hurt keeps us stuck. We become afraid to stretch and grow in various ways. We become afraid to let ourselves care deeply about anything, or anyone. It’s like keeping a cast on our leg, long after the broken bone has healed. Our ability to fully experience the richness of life is limited and constricted, when we allow a wall to continue closing off our hearts!
Until next time,
Quote from “When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times” by Pema Chodron
So true! Any ideas on how to let go of defense mechanisms that once served but now harm/sabotage?
Yes, the first step in letting go of defense mechanisms is to recognize that they are no longer serving you. Sometimes this recognition is difficult, and that’s where a good therapist can be very helpful. After recognition comes lots of patience. It isn’t easy for any of us to step out of what’s familiar and comfortable, but it can be well worth the effort. When we’re ready to start the process of change, we need to decide how we can do this in small ways, so that we’ll feel successful. Again, a therapist can be helpful in breaking it down for us. After that, it’s important to use positive self-talk when we begin to create different behaviors and responses. Good luck with moving forward in life!