There is a temptation when we get older to close in within ourselves. Time leaves wounds and scars. Some work on healing them. Others pretend they’re not there. Eventually, however, we all experience pain, sadness and disappointment from life. When the walls of safety fall away, we’re left vulnerable and scared.
In an effort to prevent future suffering, we use things like denial and distraction to cope. We become cynical to ward off disappointment. We become hard and closed to prevent people from hurting us. We lose our sense of wonder and expect the worst because the fear of being let down seems intolerable.
What many of us don’t realize is that these coping mechanisms never truly heal us. They may temporarily abate feelings of fear or anger, but they prevent the very things we want most in life-to love and be loved. It’s being open, not closed that can suture a raw wound. When we have the courage to be wrong and when we’re open to learning new things, our whole world opens up. And the things that once seemed scary, are often not so scary anymore.
It’s why being open to discussing seemingly taboo and obviously evocative topics like the benefits of pornography, the economy or the real risks involved in mixing medication and alcohol are so important. It’s knowledge that removes the fear of the unknown. It’s understanding what’s true instead of avoiding what’s there that can help us make better choices in our lives. It’s participating in life, not closing in on it that will incite self-growth and ultimately the healing of our soul.
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