Protecting your heart from pain

How do you protect your heart in relationships, while risking enough to give someone a chance?

Love and relationships seem to give us more stress than anything else in our lives. People bond over pain. They come together because of it. They seek each other out because of it. Whether the way you seek someone out be a friend to talk to, or a rebound to help you avoid facing something. Love, and the confusion that goes with it, seems to be so widely experienced that you’d think we could all have this figured out by now…

If you love the way you want to be loved, and therefore you love with all your heart, how the heck do you not get hurt? What if someone doesn’t love you back with all their heart? Because they can’t, for whatever reason. Or maybe because they choose not to…

In a round about way, this is something that I am going through at the moment. So as I write this, I am truly writing from a place of vulnerability and sincerity. I am writing not necessarily because I have the need to tell you all what is going on in my life… but mainly because I know I can usually gain clarity by writing. Something will eventually come to me. And who knows, maybe you will read this and know exactly how I feel. (There we go again, seeking each other out because of pain 😉 )

It’s funny, how it’s soooo clear when it’s not you. When it’s not your heart. You can see boundaries that need to be drawn when it’s not you.  But man… when it’s you, it is so much harder to know.

I debated with myself before I sat down to write this. Negative, defensive self-talk vs. self-talk coming from an open-heart.

The defensive part of me wanted to, “quit” while I was ahead. Get out before too much more hurt could happen. There is too much unclear stuff, I told myself. That can’t be a good thing. Go. Run. Get out now. Start over somewhere else.

You have NO IDEA how often I do this in my life.

I run. Habitually.

It’s something I’m working on.

The other part of me, well… it sits there and says softly, that quitting is worse than experiencing, no matter what the experience may be. That when you put your heart up on the shelf to be protected, you of course keep out those who you don’t think you can trust, but inevitably, you also end up closing out those who truly do love you and who you can trust.

Oh man.

So as I sit here and type this, I don’t know where to go or what to do. Do I stay or do I go?

A light bulb flickers, literally, in the room I am in. As it flickers, thoughts begin to try to come forward in my mind. How symbolic.

Here is what I know…

Wanting to run, because I don’t know if I can trust someone with my heart, has more to do with my own trust with how I deal with my heart, rather than the other person actually dealing with my heart.

Yikes. That’s a mouth full. Let me try to simplify what I mean.

…While I can tell myself that I need to run because I need to take “preventative measures”, what might actually be happening is me running because I don’t trust myself enough to deal with the possible outcomes if I stay.

…That, maybe, what I am seeing in this other person is actually a reflection of my own lack of trust in myself, in general.

…That these boundaries and this space I suddenly feel like I need to create, may have less to do with respecting myself or keeping myself safe – like I originally thought – and more about fear. Just plain, old fear.

Ugh. What a mess.

I guess I have some inside searching to do.

I know that I can’t go throwing up boundaries and stop signs all over the place, if after some reflective thought and consideration, I am just going to take them down. That is too impulsive and the boundaries and stop signs will then be taken less seriously if they DO need to go back up, in the future.

I need to sit back and look at the internal situation. The fear. Not how it is showing itself on the outside, with the need for boundaries or space. Just the fear on the inside.

Well, how ’bout that… I knew writing this all out, I would get something out of it. Thanks for listening. And if by any chance you see yourself in a similar situation, I hope that you too will look inside first, before deciding the outside stuff. Don’t go placing reasons on other people until you address the inside shit-storm that may be going on inside of you…

And by no means should you have it figured out in a ten minute span of thoughts. Shoot, I still don’t know where to go with all this. But I’m giving myself homework. I’ve got some things to think about and some things to look at. And that, for the time being, beats running, like I always do.

Sending love, hugs and buttslaps…



“When you begin to touch your heart or let your heart be touched, you begin to discover that it’s bottomless.” ~ Pema Chodron

1 Comment

  1. I feel that right here *thumps fist over heart*
    It’s very true that from an outside perspective, love is an easy thing to deal with, to define, to set boundaries. But when you’re one of the parties involved, things get extremely complicated extremely quickly. “Am I moving to fast? Too slow? Does s/he feel the same way about me?”
    Even when outsiders give you advice, it’s all theoretical, and possibly not applicable to your own situation. I was once told “don’t fall in love, ease into it”, which sounds great but is certainly easier said than done.
    The worst is finding that special someone who you’re ready to sacrifice anything and everything for, and then finding out that they quite probably don’t feel the same way. Hello heart-break hotel.

    Sorry, that was a bit more mopy than I expected or intended.
    Hope your heart finds some solace and love, my dear. You’re not in this alone.

    –Kiyoshi “The Prototype” Perkins

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