While attempting to follow my own advice from last week’s blog post and use my natural superpower, The Smile, I made an important discovery: I could not smile at anyone without first lowering my Invisible Walls.
It was easy enough to lower them, but it wasn’t easy to keep them down for extended periods of time. It’s as if my invisible walls are up and in place by default and only lowered manually. This awareness made me question their purpose.
I certainly can’t speak for everyone, but for me, my invisible walls seem to be a pseudo-defense mechanism built on a foundation of mistrust. I say pseudo-defense because in the face of an uncomfortable situation or any real danger, invisible walls are obviously quite useless. And mistrust? It would appear that while out in public, some part of me fully expects to be approached by an unsavory member of society at any given moment – a belief which is easily proven false based on personal experience alone.
The logic (or lack thereof) which has led to the unchecked deployment of my invisible walls needs to be annulled . If, truly, I use them hoping to avoid the very rare uncomfortable encounter, the end result is that they are preventing me from many pleasant connections.
I admit I’ve grown quite comfortable within my walls. I finally have the wainscoting at the perfect height and the wallpaper I picked out sometime in 2009 is still pleasing to my eye. None-the-less, I have seen the error of my ways. This afternoon I’ll visit the local equipment rental yard and pay someone to swing a wrecking ball in my general direction. I’m no longer happy living within my sheltered prison. I’m busting out. If there’s an actual need for protection, I’ll pull more useful items from my arsenal – like poise, grace, understanding and patience.
What about you? Can you live without those invisible walls? Might your lowering them more often enrich not only your life but also the day-to-day experiences of those around you?
Give it a try. Let me know how it goes.