Nothing to Protect

nothing to protect -- man under umbella

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One of the things I have learned is that I have nothing to protect. Everything in me I seek to protect and defend is false anyway. My ego, my sensitivities, my vanity, my guilt and regrets — none of it is going to last. It’s all on the way out. Shining the light on it helps it die the death it deserves.

I have also learned that those who ask receive. If I want grace, I have to ask for it. If I want people to love me and forgive me and extend grace to me, I have to remind them regularly that I am like them — a person who makes mistakes and is hurting and afraid and needs love. Wow, do I  hate admitting this about myself.

But because all of these things are true of all of us, and we’re scared to death of those dark realities, most of the time we invest in covering it all up. Ironically, this leaves us open to judgment from others as the wall we build around ourselves keeps them from seeing us as human in the same way they are.

We reach past that by opening up those wounds so others can see them. As we do that, we minister to them (serve them) by affirming they are not alone in their hurt and suffering and woundedness.

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  • Ame

    I feel like I have absolutely everything to protect. My worst fear during a team building exercise is the “trust fall”. This scares me to death. I trust no one to be there when I fall back. So I spend countless thought hours guarding and building this wall. Because I feel the need to control everything it’s very hard for me to let anything go. Yes, this is very exhausting. I find that even when I try (I’ll say try because I always take the reigns back) to let God have me – I almost immediately pull back as what happens if God (almighty, all powerful) doesn’t catch me? What if I smack right into the floor? What if, “there is no spoon?!?!” I can’t even start to think of the positive side because I allow this fear to rule me.

    • Ame, sometimes I’m bummed I’m not your therapist! Seriously, you have so much cool stuff going on. These issues you’re dealing with, and yet you seem to almost never see that as you talk about how stuck you are, you are actually doing what very few people have courage to do right in that exact moment.

      So yes, everything you said is true, I’m sure, since there’s no one who can assess this better than you can. But there, in the middle of the mess, is the very vulnerability I’m talking about. Many people who might seem to have fewer “issues” are nonetheless much more guarded and could learn a lot from you about certain things.

    • I’m glad you said “you feel” you have everything to protect. You don’t actually have any more to protect than anyone else.

      You only do because you think you do. Of course that’s the problem, for you and for everyone, and I get that, but it’s true just the same. There is no spoon.

  • Hi David! I relate to what you say here. I think that’s one of things about blogging (for me at least) I know that when I made the decision to start a blog it was with the intention that I would make myself vulnerable and open up about parts of my life that I sometimes would prefer to cover up. It definitely opens the way for more authentic engagement and I’ve had people, including old school friends that I’d not had contact with for years, open up and pour out their hearts to me. If people don’t see enough of our humanity then they don’t consider us approachable.

    • Hi Rachel! Nice to hear from you. I hope all is well. I need to return to your blog, I haven’t been there in a long time and I remember when I first found it I completely loved it. So glad you chimed in!

      I tend to drop off the earth for months at a time both on Twitter and in terms of posting new stuff to my blog. If part of the recipe of “success” with a blog is consistency, I’ll never get there. 🙂 So thanks for reminding me of the great way you think (perhaps because I see in it a bit of my own thinking as well!) and what I’ve been missing. And thanks for your great comment here.