For much of my life I have built walls. I’m a master builder and my walls are thick and strong. I compartmentalized these walls to hold everything inside it locked up tight. It’s a defense mechanism learned from an early childhood of uncertainty.
Now, anyone who knows me knows I’m dramatic, and I like to make people laugh, and I have a sharp tongue. They mistake my walls for confidence, and sometimes I do, too.
Walls are built for two reasons: To keep things out, and to keep things in. For so long I have beaten on the walls of my heart begging to be let out. Knowing I was not being heard through these walls. These walls were strong. They were built out of fear, and anger, and resentment. They had been fortified with abandonment and disappointment and distrust.
I was angry at these walls that kept me from feeling; from getting close to people. I was angry at my inability to break them when I had built them myself. I was angry at my anger.
But just as Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that,” I realized screaming and beating on these walls in a frenzy only made them stronger. It only made them higher. It only made them harder to break in or out.
But then something happened to me, and I struggle to find the words to even explain what it was other than it was like waking up from a long sleep. I began to fill in the gaps of things I had pushed away and face them. I found the way to break the walls, but what I didn’t know was how sheltered I had kept myself beneath in my own darkness. I cried. I cried a lot.
And then I forgave. I forgave a lot, starting with my father.
I expected more than he had to give me growing up, things he wanted to give me but he just didn’t have it at that time to give to me. In my own breaking, I saw his humanity. His fragility. His hurt. How his hurt made him hurt others. How he tried to numb it and fill it and make it stop hurting. Laying down our anger and picking up mercy and love is the path to grace, and I don’t mean that religiously, although you can take take it that way if you wish. I mean it spiritually, because that has everything to do with what we are.
I surrender to this being my path. It’s not how I planned it, but it’s the path I was given and I will travel it and live it to the best of my ability, and hopefully without these walls my voice, my divine gift- misused for so long- can finally be heard. Everyone has their demons and everyone has their delights. When you look with mercy you find more delight.
“We looked for the good in them, and we found it.”- Pollyanna