Did I Build That Castle?

These past few weeks have been a little difficult. I’ve been thinking a lot about walls and castles and metaphorically what that looks like in my life (I blame Piers Plowman). I’ve written about this before, but I usually find it difficult to open up to people, and sometimes I’m mistaken for being cold. I find that I have this immediate reaction where I put walls up.

There seems to be this school of thought that basically says that if people don’t want to know you, spend time with you or care about you, then it’s their loss. Move on. Value your own time and don’t bother with the people who don’t see you. That’s not easy. If I’m honest, I’m not sure I’m entirely married to that idea, at least when it comes to me, but I have received and given the same advice. There is truth to it. We do teach others how to treat us. We do “accept the love we think we deserve”. But I worry if I’m doing something a little worse than that in my own life. I wonder if moving on means that I’ve put up a wall.

I said earlier that I find it tough sometimes, opening up to people outside my family and close friends. Over the past couple of months, I’d meet somebody, and they’re wonderful and I hope they always are. I actually wanted to open up to them, but I got the feeling that they didn’t want the same thing back. On the surface I took it really well, but deep down I felt 14 again, surrounded by stuffed animals asking myself… “Why didn’t they want to know me?”

I was given the advice that when people want to be in your life, when they want to know you, they find a way to do that. My friend who gave me this advice also said, “Focus on the people that do love you.” I agree with her, but I wonder if I’ve been fair to this person. I wonder if by moving on, I’ve built a wall where there should be a vacant bridge. I wonder if I’ve acted out of fear of rejection and called it self-respect. I wonder (most of the time) if I know what I’m doing when it comes to relationships.

To be honest, I’m not sure I entirely understand how this works.