What is it that causes such a person? Why does it appear that they are unapproachable, disconnected or unfeeling? Why are they so mean or distant?
I once had a dream of a tower that stood in the middle of the multi-road intersection of Wellington Street. It was like a huge brick tower that resembled the structure of a lighthouse.
There was wooden door at the bottom, with black, iron, spiral stairs that ran all the way to the top. There were some openings, like small windows without glass, along the journey upwards.
At the top of the tower was an interior, iron deck that looked all the way down to the bottom, through the middle of the staircase. It was dark, dreary and as if it was damp from the rain.
Imagine that the structure had to be built, one brick at a time. It was only about ten feet in diameter across the bottom and only six feet in diameter at the top. The bricks were set in place and secured with mortar to hold them tight.
Individuals who appear cold and heartless were likely not always that way, but one brick at a time, they built a protective structure around their heart.
It started with a disappointment, or maybe a breakup, or a tragedy or a death, or a crime against them or a heart break. Maybe it was one little thing, over and over again. Maybe it was a comment, a conversation, an interaction. Maybe they grew up in poverty.
Maybe they were downsized or abused or fired or hurt. Maybe they were in an accident, or were sick or injured. Maybe they lost something dear to them or were addicted or hurting others. Maybe they were bullied or beaten or harmed in some way.
One brick at a time, they built a structure. It was a way to protect themselves from being hurt again or keeping others out. They emotionally closed themselves off from others, thinking that it might be best for everyone all around. If the pain was significant, they may have added many bricks at one time.
The tower had some openings for light and a door to exit. They could come and go as they pleased. They could have fun, display love or interact with others. They; however, usually retreat again.
They could see outside through the window openings. They could climb to the top at any time. The problem is that the deck at the top only looked down and inside, at all of the hurt.
They have become so accustomed to the tower around their heart that it becomes normal to them. They rarely let anyone in.
The people around them also accept this as reality. The people around them know what to say and not to say. The people around them usually know the game and how to play it, to avoid confrontations.
When the crap does hit the fan, the people involved usually saw it coming and knew that it was a matter of time before things erupted again. Walking on eggshells is the norm.
But what if someone does not want to live like this anymore? Or what if their loved ones wish the situation was different? Is there hope?
Every single day, people break down their towers. They hit a crossroad and decide to do things differently. I think it is ironic that the tower in my dream, years ago, was located in the middle of an intersection with three roads and six forks. I think it is the only intersection of this kind, in our community.
Every day, someone choses to start living again. Every day, someone breaks through the barriers that they have built around themselves. Every day, someone takes a new road.
We do the best we know how, at the time, when faced with difficult circumstances. It doesn’t mean that we have to remain that way forever.
Do you need to start letting people in? Do you want to love again? Do you need to forgive? Do you want to move forward?
Do you want something to change for the better? Are you tired of being stuck in a life you have built for yourself?
All progress begins with a decision. It is the drama and the story that we tell ourselves before the decision, that keeps us stuck. What is worst that can happen – you will end up sad and alone? Isn’t that how you feel now?
I don’t think you have a cold heart; I think you have a broken heart and have experienced plenty of pain…
You can decide to open your heart to others. You can step out of the door of your tower at any time you choose…
‘It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped. ’ ~ Anthony Robbins