The Walls We Build

(Written by a close friend, MLMunoz, from her book, beyond idle thoughts. She writes about life and human nature.)

Every man dies. But not every man really lives. . .Braveheart

Whenever we are faced with a choice and/or decision to make, the words “but” and “what if” invariably come to mind. These words, make up the walls we build around ourselves—to protect us from pain; rejection; disappointment; loss. But they also keep us from being happy; accepted; accomplished; fulfilled.

Fear is what prompts us to build walls. We protect ourselves from experiencing a negative emotion by denying ourselves a chance to have what we want, and to live life more fully. We find a life of emptiness and boredom more tolerable than to have to anticipate the pain that comes along with taking risks. And so, we are neither miserable nor happy. This state of passive acceptance is our blanket of security—coupled with monotony. Much like the lamplighter in “The Little Prince” whose day begins and ends exactly as the day before. A lot of people have come to accept this kind of existence—and become content. Neither wanting nor expecting anything beyond the walls they created.

There are also people who may have sheltered themselves but are aware of the endless possibilities beyond the self-imposed boundaries. Could they, too, be content? To a person who is aware, the negation of pain/happiness gives rise to a more immobilizing emotion: torment. Questions never cease. What if I joined the contest instead of being afraid to be disappointed? Would I have experienced the elation of winning? What if I took that rare opportunity of joining a business venture instead of the security of a 9-5 job? Would I have been successful? What if I called the girl who talked to me at the party and gave me her business card—instead of being intimidated that she might not take the call? Could she have filled the emptiness in my life?

What if I took a chance?

What if I dared?

Would my life have been different?

So, we have 2 kinds of people who enclose themselves in a wall of security. One lives on a single note unaware that there are other notes that can compose a melody. The other tries to survive on a single note but is aware that there are other notes he has access to, to create enchantment and magic in his life. He looks from the inside and marvels at what he sees on the outside—but is unwilling to break free. And the melody remains unsung.

But there are people who create doors when faced with a wall. They see possibilities—and open every door they see—until they have the life they want. They play all the notes—sometimes discordant, sometimes harmonious, and every once in a while breathtaking. And they live their life in a continuous creation of music.

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2 thoughts on “The Walls We Build

  1. People create walls for a lot reason, maybe a bad experienced in the past. Some are risk takers because they would like to experience the other side–is it greener in the other side ? is it worth taking the risk? People are always curious, creative, fearless, and some are plain watchers. I would say in every plan to explore outside the box always practice calculated risk. You might bleed, feel hurt or slighted or even felt that a dagger pierced into your heart but the experienced is there….learned from it. In the 21st century everything is possible, the effect of globalization and environmental changes create a different perspective in life, time to let go of the old you–go out and explore, not too late to enjoy without fear.

  2. Many thanks to Strive. . . I guess everyone is entitled to create their own walls, as people seek their own challenges just as they also avoid certain challenges, because of fear of the unknown or fear of the already known from unhappy experience. My friend who wrote the piece wants to keep her peace, meantime.

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