I know I come across as open. Few defenses. Willing to discuss my bowel habits and my sadness with tens of thousands of strangers. But I’ve had to realise lately that this brazen openness is actually a defense. A boring one. For me, anyway.
Do you tend to point out your faults loudly when you’re nervous? Because you figure it’s better to get in first, before someone points them out for you? Yeah. Me too. Openess can be like that. It works like this: Before you challenge me on my boundaries, before you hold a mirror up to my intimacy issues, how about I barrage you with my brazeness, then you won’t have a leg to stand on!
Well, this approach has kind of got stale lately. It’s not serving me too well. When I do it now I cringe.
As it happens I read on DailyOm last week a little metaphor about trees shedding their bark. It’s fitting:
Trees grow wider with each passing year. As they do, they shed the bark that served to protect them but now is no longer big enough to contain them. In the same way, we create boundaries and develop defenses to protect ourselves and then, at a certain point, we outgrow them. If we don’t allow ourselves to shed our protective layer, we can’t expand to our full potential.