Surrounded by walls

Juliet Miles

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We are surrounded by the walls we build to protect our hearts and to keep out the people that might hurt us. Some of us have a past where deep emotional wounds exist that keep us from knowing who we are and knowing how much we are loved. We feel unloved, unwanted, and alone. As a person once told me, they feel dead inside. We try to love others and feel like we fail to love them or they don’t love us back. But most of all, we fail to love ourselves. The truth is that we cannot love well until we have been loved well. We mimic the love we have learned and we learn to build walls to keep ourselves from getting hurt. Most of us are like the rest of us.* The people who need love the most appear to desire it the least. Their nonverbal communication is saying “love me. I know you don’t know me but I want you to love me.” We’re not talking about lust here. We’re talking about truly caring about someone and reaching out to them with a genuine heart, not just once but on a regular basis.

Photographer: Juliet Miles; Model: Selma Charles

Have you ever seen a wounded dog cornered? Know what it does? It growls and tries to attack. It is not you that it is afraid of; it is the fear of hurt and the pain it is experiencing. It is their defense mechanism. When people are hurt or have emotional pain, their defense mechanism is to put up an invisible wall. They put on a fake smile that says everything is ok, yet on the inside they are crying out ‘LOVE ME! Why don’t you love me?’

How can we be loved well? It starts by letting down the walls and letting others love you. Make new friends. Don’t just stay with “us four and no more” or “me and you just us two.” Yes, I know it’s scary and it may hurt. It will also probably feel very awkward. But, it is only for a time. Trust someone. Someone out there wants to trust you and to love you. A person who truly loves and cares for you will never hurt you, mentally or physically, at least not intentionally.

Surround yourself with love and with loved ones. Take a chance, make a change, and make a difference. Try not to think about yourself and your woes but think about how you can reach out to someone else even if they may reject you at first. Remember, most of us are like the rest of us. We have much more in common than you may think.

* The concepts of “being loved well” and “most of us are like the rest of us” are borrowed from Brandon Cormier.
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