It may seem strange to think that in order to greater empower yourself, you must tear down all of the walls in your life. This includes, emotional, physical, spiritual and financial barriers.
This may have been one of the hardest lessons I’ve ever had to learn. For decades, I believed it was stronger for a guy to hold people and emotions at an arm’s length. Not let anyone close.
Turns out it’s the quickest way to look back on your life and realize how extraordinarily empty it has been.
There were many factors that may have contributed to why I carved out this path and belief for myself. An emotionally and physically abusive mother, a dad who was busy working to provide for his family and hid emotion behind a relentless cascade of sarcasm.
But there’s no sense in dwelling on what was or taking the traditional cop out of blaming my parents for issues I’ve created in my life.
I’d rather spend my time working to tear down the walls and continue to empower myself. I’ve come a long way over the past few years, but there’s always work to do.
Why do Men build up Walls?
It’s pretty common for guys to be emotionally distant, who view showing emotion as a sign of weakness.
In the 20-odd years I lived with my parents, I only saw my dad cry once and when he did he scurried to his bedroom in the back of the house and closed the door so no one would see.
Since the dawn of time man has been designed to be the protector and provider. Petty things like emotions and vulnerabilities weren’t only hindrances but could literally get one killed.
But over the past 50 years technology and humans have been evolving at breakneck speed. Women moved out of the home and into the workforce, proving they didn’t need men to provide and protect them.
And yet, we can’t escape this prehistoric line of thinking.
Combine that biologically implanted way of thinking with any trauma that you may have experienced which caused you to either shut down emotionally or made to feel like less of a man for showing vulnerability, guys are fighting a losing battle.
The result is men who are emotionally unavailable to their partners both romantic and business.
The fear of being vulnerable forced me to build up walls with everyone around me, including those who were most important. I never really communicated with my parents or allowed them in my life. And that bled into my romantic relationships.
I Spent Years Surrounded by Walls.
When Ryan and I were together, any time he wanted to talk about something deeper than surface level stuff, I would immediately shut down and divert the conversation to something menial or make some witty, condescending remark.
While I thought I was being strong, ultimately it only left me with an emptiness. And I can only imagine the pain it caused him.
Over the past few years, I’ve been making subtle changes to tear down the walls and allow others to get a little closer.
Having been single now going on 5 years allowed me get to know myself better.
That’s the funny thing about building walls. Over time, we harden to the point where we don’t even let ourselves in enough to discover who we really are.
Tear Down the Walls – Emotional
But a remarkable thing that happens when you begin to tear down the walls and let your guard down.
Solid, healthy connections begin to form.
My family has never been close. We just didn’t grow up like that. My sisters and I were all independent and did our own thing and our parents let us.
But when I moved to the Carolinas, I started off living with my sister. And over the course of the year, I became really close to her for the first time in my life.
We would talk and get to know each other. It was absolutely incredible.
I had reached the point in my life where keeping those walls up had just become too tiresome. Constantly working to keep up that hard shell was exhausting and I was tired.
Tear Down the Walls and Empower Yourself.
After years of self development and getting to know myself better, I made the decision it was time to start inviting others in and I started dating.
The reaction guys had to meeting someone who was open and honest was almost comical to watch. They were in total amazement. It was as if I was the first person they’d ever met who just gave themselves completely and laid it out on the table.
It was an empowering feeling to tear down the walls and let another human in.
Regardless of whether I would only go on one date or it was a series of dates, I allowed myself to drop the shield and at least attempt to form some sort of connection.
And I connected with myself on a deeper level.
Allowing myself to be vulnerable and let my guard down has also helped in business & finances, my physical health and spirituality. But that’s a post for another day.
Men’s Empowerment Network