Casting Off Your Emotional Armor

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Over the years, you’ve carefully selected each piece of armor: a breastplate to protect your heart, a helm to protect your thoughts, a visor to protect how you view the world, sabatons to protect where you tread, gauntlets to protect all you do.

You’ve added layers upon layers, upgraded the quality and function. And you’re quite proud of how far you’ve come. Nothing can penetrate your armor now; nothing can hurt you.

That is, proud until someone asks, puzzled at your armor as you stand on the sidelines of life and love, stoic and immoveable, “But how can you dance?”

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You look over to realize, throngs of people dance about you, smiling and laughing, raw in their joy and emotion. And you are torn between envy and fear. “What if they get hurt,” you think. “That’s too risky.”

Whenever I get hurt, my first instinct is to throw up more armor, to protect myself from further pain, to rush to the sidelines from where I’d been dancing carefree just a moment before, just before an emotional javelin pierced my heart.

I want to buckle every piece of armor on myself that I can. I want to stay home, snuggled in my bed with my cat, my tv and my little ones. I want to drown out the thoughts, the memories, the heartache. Drown it out with noise and with a determination to not care. I want to do anything that would lesson and prevent the kind of pain I just experienced.

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But what is the cost?

And how much armor have we all built up over time? Or even just recently? Do we see the armor, or do we walk around weighed down, without realizing why?

Is it more beneficial to protect ourselves? Or to live as if we’d never been hurt or disappointed?

I choose the latter, but some days it’s a lot easier than others. Some days, I do crawl into bed and lick my proverbial wounds until I can face the music once again. But the music is always worth returning to.

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