I’m sitting here watching one of the not so stray cats stare at me through the window. I wonder what they are thinking when they do that. I can be sitting here like now, enjoying my coffee, scrolling down through the many things shared blog wise and get the feeling, I’m not alone. Turning my gaze out the window there will be one or more cats sitting on the steps or in the yard, staring in the window. I know they can see something because if I move the wrong way, they run. I wish that they weren’t still so afraid. If the mornings will ever warm up to the point where I can tolerate spending more time out there, allowing them to become accustomed to my presence, that might help but at this stage, I don’t know. Their over abundance of caution and self preservation may be fully ingrained at this point. Changing that would be difficult at best. They trust the food I put out for them, but not me. Those boundaries they have created are strong.
We can do that as people. I’ve been accused of that, and I don’t deny that one iota. But why do we do that? Are we helping or hurting ourselves? Are those boundaries built for self preservation, out of that abundance of caution, due to past pain, due to fear or some other of the infinite reasons that are within our heart and head?
I know that there are those among us who have been hurt in various ways. Through physical, mental or emotional abuse by those who are supposed to love and protect. Through bullying at school, at work, out in public. Some are profiled due to who they are. Some attacked simply because they were at that moment of time, in the wrong place, making them available. No matter the reason, the pain is real. The hurt can be strong, often sending roots so deeply into the human psyche that to extricate it near impossible.The only way seen by some to avoid more pain, a strong, high fortress of boundaries. Walls, barricades, moats, physically real or mentally created. Anything that will in some form or fashion, prevent more hurt.Others run away at the first sign of risk. That first moment of vulnerability, they bolt and run. Distancing themselves as far as possible from the threat. If they avoid it, then it can’t hurt them.
Not only can one create boundaries due to the pain, but due to fear. The fear of pain, the fear of ridicule, the fear of standing out due to differences. Our so called humanity, is not so humane when we feel that we must attack others because of differences. Making them a target when they are or at least appear, to be less than others. Less strong, less boisterous, less in any way in the sight of a bully, makes them a target. Any such attack is wrong and cruel, each attack making the victim more timid, more afraid to show themselves. More afraid to stand out in any fashion, so they hide. They build walls, and they cower behind them, seeking safety.
It isn’t easy to fight against and tear down the boundaries that have been built in that attempt at self preservation. It isn’t a simple task, to find the brave side of self, when the brave side has been so battered and bruised. Trust is a word foreign to the injured and hiding. They have built up their armed forces and keep them strong. To trust, takes great strength. Something that the hurt often overpowers.To trust, takes being brave. To trust, means making oneself vulnerable. To trust, means finding the strength that awaits within. To trust, means to understand that sometimes, when we open ourselves up, there is the risk that things won’t go as hoped, and we are able to cope with what comes. To take the armed forces we have created within, that protect the heart and spirit, and use them to seek the adventure that life can be.
Life, is a risk. It is a gamble and a roll of the dice as to what may come. We gain strength and courage, when we fight against and overpower the things that have hurt us in the past. When the lion’s heart within us roars and we face the day ready. When we allow those who have been there, feeding us in some fashion, to enter into the walls of our fortress and begin to help tear them down.