It seems as if in the last few years I have come full circle. I spent the first 25 years of my life in a small town near Kansas City. In this town, I was made fun of and bullied, sexually harassed, humiliated by teachers, and rejected by the majority of people who knew me. I was told that I was nothing and that I would be nothing my entire life by the people who were supposed to encourage me to be my best. I built walls that kept everyone at a distance.
(Why do some teachers think that belittling students will make the students act better? Seriously, it NEVER works. If you are told enough times that you are stupid or that you will never amount to anything, you start to believe it.)
I moved away from the area to the southern part of Missouri. I lived there for almost 10 years, and during that time, I felt like a different person. I acted like a different person. I was happy. I made friends. I learned to be open and vulnerable. I had put a doorway in my walls, but I never really took them down.
Then circumstances like a broken heart and job loss brought me back to the area that I grew up in. I was starting to struggle in my career. I had people who I thought were my friends turn around and stab me in the back in ways that ended up costing me jobs.
I started to close myself off again. I started hiding behind my walls. All the pain of the rejection that I thought that I had dealt with came rushing back with a strength that showed me that I had never really dealt with it at all. I was slowly adding bricks to the doorway of the wall.
I sought counseling. I learned that there is a difference between knowing your self-worth and having self-esteem. I learned that I value myself highly (self-worth), but that I don’t believe that others do (self-esteem) so I build walls to keep people at a distance.
My walls though don’t just keep people at a distance. They keep me trapped within them like Rapunzel was trapped in her tower. And like Rapunzel I want to escape, but unlike Rapunzel I can’t scale the wall. Instead I have to tear the walls down. Sometimes it means punching a hole in the wall. At other times it means taking it apart a brick at a time.
Where do you start though when it is time to tear down the walls?
- Start with healing
The first punch in the wall starts with a prayer for healing. Start praying. Ask the Lord to bind your wounds and heal the poison that is festering inside of you. Ask Him to guide you. Ask Him to show you where you need forgiveness and where you need to forgive.
Then open your Bible. Get lost in it. Read about the Cross. Read about forgiveness. Read about hope, peace, faith, and love. Read about grace.
The next step will vary from person to person. Seek counseling if needed. Start journaling. Write about all of your pain and anger. Keep it or tear it up and burn it. Use art to express the pain. I have used art with children who have been traumatized. Simple things like tearing paper and making collages or choosing a color that expresses your emotions is surprisingly helpful. Exercise. Take prayers walks. Join a kickboxing class. Cook (It always amazes me how much better I feel after I have punched out a loaf or 2 of bread.)
Do these things over and over. Pray. Spend time with the Lord. Saturate yourself in His Word. Forgive yourself and others. Ask forgiveness. Take responsibility. Seek help if needed. Find a safe outlet for your pain and emotions.
And eventually healing will come.
- Reach out
The second thing that you need to do to tear down those walls is to reach out. You started the healing process. There is a big hole in that wall of yours. Now reach out. Don’t wait until you are fully healed.
Reach out, and if no one responds, keep reaching out again and again. Eventually someone will reach back. You just have to have faith and keep persevering.
Try, try again. Don’t give up.
And don’t give in. Satan doesn’t like it when we continue to try. When we start working together to tear down those walls, he becomes angry and tries to stop us. He lies to us. Tells us that we aren’t good enough or that nobody cares so that we will start putting those walls back up. But don’t let him get to you. Keep plugging along. Keep reaching out. Keep tearing down the walls.
Write down your plan for tearing down your walls. Set some goals like a daily Bible reading plan or starting a journal and writing down so many words per day.
Take the first step on your plan. Pray for healing.
Here are some verses to help you start your journey to healing and encourage you to persevere: