Empowerment: Breaking Down Defensive Walls

Breaking Down Defensive Walls

Breaking Down Defensive Walls


Article by Cinthia Singleton
Photo Credit: Dasha & Mari
Magazine: Issue #21

One day we cruise along with a song in our hearts. The next might be rife with sadness, perceived or actual. The ‘actuals’ could be a death, departure, flood, fire, major setback or even, in some cases, changes and opportunities that come out of left field. The ‘perceiveds’ on the other hand…from these we build the walls of defense.


Encounter. AngerGriefConfusionFearPrejudiceIntolerance. Ignition. The experiential arc has a purpose… to feel as the zombies cannot… to motivate us into action when we’re miserable or close to the bottom. Can’t deny it, it’s as organic as the fires after a years of drought. But sustaining it (and the walls that come with them) may not be practical after a time. Then we have trouble:

Letting life’s joys into our hearts too
Fully experiencing our Path and soul goals

They source from the past, from what we have KNOWN and now fear. Many people find assuaging them with the denial, suppression, drugs, sex and rock and roll helps. Or they attract like-minded who don’t challenge moving past them. Good reasons to put them on review every so often, eh? And that they’re combustible, as uncontrollable as a wildfire, if left unexamined?Whether a candle flame or veld fire depends on how close to home the situations and/or people strike our core. 

And again.


Walls were invented to protect us from intruders and harm - the actual AND the perceived - but they, too, are flammable. So to grow we might either need to let them burn down and rebuild better ones suitable for today and now.

See, some walls are vital and healthy; they’re called boundaries.

So each time you encounter the emotions, give ‘em a howdy. Look them in the eye. Start there. Feel them. Hope to grow beyond them. Be:

  • self-aware
  • listen to yourself, your breathing
  • feel your first reaction to the situation, people around you, etc.
  • don’t immediately re-act, just breath, observe and listen
  • listen
  • [ journal, paint, write, compose, dance, talk ] about them
  • learn coping techniques

And always ask yourself: What am I so [ afraid of, sickened by, defensive of, etc ] ?  If this answer takes you to a place in the past, and likely it will, there’s where you find a wall that could be to be taken down. Ask for help if that’s hard. We’re all doing this, some might be a little further down the road.

“I am building a fire, and every day I train, I add more fuel. At just the right moment, I light the match.”  Mia Hamm

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