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Day 203: Learning To Live

Every heart has something built up around it that has been constructed over long periods of time. As we move through life, various circumstances come into play that provide material, prompt additions, cause cracks, or breath through entirely in conjunction with the structure we construct around our breathing hearts. Whether we like it or not, it is simply part of life that cannot be ignored.

One never quite know what will become of their heart with each and every new person they meet or experience they have. Life has a tendency of shaping and changing us, both for the better and sometimes for the worst. So we build walls for protection. They go up slowly and then usually the construction hastens the older we get. The more of the world we see, the more we want to protect our hearts.

Life, however, is a constant state of construction and demolition. Because not only are we constantly adding onto the walls we’re building up, we are constantly working at tearing them down. Certain people, events, breakthroughs in personal growth, all of these can be reasons why one would tear away at the walls they’ve built hoping to reach the outside. Sometimes they only cause a crack, other times an entire wall comes crashing down. But the reality is we are tearing down and building up our walls at the same exact time.

The longer our construction goes on, the more likely we are to build our walls into an entire house. Pain, trauma, hurt, anger, all of these can lead us to draw further away from the world and deeper into our own personal refuge. Each part of our house looks a little different from the last as we grow up and add on protection in new ways on different days. Some walls begin to crumble with age as the older ones become less important and the newer walls are reinforced with steel.

The strange thing, however, is that as we decide to sway between wanting to be vulnerable and wanting protection, we chip away at our own walls. We pick up the hammer we were using to put in new nails in order to small a hole in a wall to try and let light in. Our own homes become a mess of demolition and progress. Dust and cracks surround us on every side as does the smell of wet pain and saw dust.

The house around our hearts can so easily turn into a fortress, clocking people out and secluding our hearts in order to avoid pain. And while our house becomes quite a monstrosity, we often forget about its presence as it surrounds our pulsing, beating heart. But then we come upon a time of isolation.

Suddenly the very thing that was supposed to keep us safe, closes in around us and springs a trap around our hearts. We have built a home, quite an impressive one, and we simply do not know how to live in it. We are uncomfortable in the very core of our being because we have not come to terms with how it was built.

Our pain hides in the rafters, the secrets slip in and out of closets, the chipped walls tell stories of wanting to open up and the foundation cracks with reminders of past experiences. Each nail, crack, blemish, and perfection is a story about our past and about who we are and we are unable to handle it. The house we have built becomes a prison because we do not know how to live in it.

Solitude reminds us of everything that we have done or not done to provide inner peace and understanding. We need to remember that it is impossible to remove every wall and room that surrounds our heart, the key is finding your way around the house. Make peace with the skeletons in the closet, and tear down the wall between the kitchen and the living room.

Instead of seeing it as protection, view it as a beautiful place for your heart to rest and invite others into it. Throw open the windows and the doors allowing in the light that hasn’t touched your heart in years. A house need not remain closed off to the world, it not only provides us protection but comfort to our guests. We need to learn how to live with the things we have lived through while being open enough to have the courage to let people in.

The house we have built for our heart is not a cage, it is a home. We are our own homes and we must learn how to live in them.

Until Next Time,
Lillian Merritt

“Confinement” 
Slowly walls deteriorate as others are built up, enclosing that which needs the most protection. The wooden floor boards creak and the ceiling groans, the resident unsure of how to live in a house such as this.

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