This is in response to this post by Holistic Wayfarer…
Upon viewing the list included in her post, I decided to focus on two topics within the list: my relationship with my sweetheart and the relational boundaries I draw. That seemed like a good place to start, and the two are somewhat related, so why not knock out two birds with one stone.
First off, I am an intensely private person. Funny, huh? Especially since I keep a blog. I try to avoid anything too private when it comes to my writing here, only focusing on things that I believe many of us have in common. That said, it still remains that I am intensely private. I have a difficult, no, extremely difficult time letting people into my life. This affects those topics listed above.
In short, I have walls…high, strong, and impenetrable walls set up to protect me. What do they protect me from? Or, what do they protect? I’ve had these for a long time, as long as I can remember. When I think about it, it isn’t just my protection that the walls serve, but also I do not like to have others close to me doting on my problems or worrying about me. So, it is also about protecting them. It
probably hurts a lot more than it helps, keeping these walls up, especially concerning my relationship with my sweetheart. I do try to open up the gate and let her in, but it is pretty hard to do a lot of the time, and I well understand just how frustrating that can be for her.
I guess the truth is that I am afraid of how others perceive me. I could say concerned, but it is really fear much more than concern. I don’t much care for negative feedback or being criticized at all. Who does? I prefer to be welcomed rather than shunned, liked rather than disliked, or loved rather than hated.
Is it better to be loved as the person I want others to see, or to be loved, or hated, for being the person I really am? This is the question that my walls protect me from. In truth, I do not even know if tearing down my walls will bring hatred or negativity my way. Questions, sure, and a lack of understanding are possible, but hate? It is out there. That much is sure, but let’s ask the question again.
Is it better to be loved as the person I want others to see, or to be loved as the person I am?
I think that is a much better question and focuses more on the feelings I feel and want to experience.
Though love is the most important emotion, and strongest, there is something to be said for respect. You cannot have love without respect, but you can have respect without love. So…
Is it better to be respected as the person I willingly show to others, or to be respected for the person I am?
It’s a good question. To earn respect of another is a pretty fantastic feeling, but is that respect deserving when it is given without seeing the whole picture? but, this is off the topic and may be better dealt with at another time.
Back to topic…
I am afraid of how others perceive me which brought me to the question asked above. We know what the answer is. In the short run the first part seems like an obvious choice because, well, in the short run things tend to come and go. However, in the long run, the latter must be true, otherwise the lies and deceit (intentional or intended with malice or not, it does not matter) will take their toll on the one hiding who they are, and, possibly, what they do. Fruitful relationships cannot be built upon this and be expected to last and will ultimately fail.
I guess that is a long winded way of saying that, in terms of the topics stated at the beginning, without fear, things would look very different. My relationships would be much stronger and infinitely more meaningful, thus contributing more positively to my life and happiness in it. More or less, fear is crippling, and serves little positive function when it comes to relationships between people.