I love being open.
I love to have a genuine, deep bond with people, and for them to feel they are able to have the same with me.
Life and healthy relationships don’t always work like that. Plus, we all know that relationships with women can be tricky!
It’s okay to guard your heart; in fact, it’s very healthy! Also, do not confuse guarding your heart with putting walls up in friendships and acquaintances. There is a balance between these kinds of boundaries. Sometimes I have struggled with doing the right thing out the wrong emotion, and the wrong thing with the right emotion! I have had to find a healthy balance where my actions are derived from a healthy, less-emotional state of thinking when learning to walk the balance of guarding my heart and putting up walls.
When I wanted to have more balance in my deeper relationships, I had to be careful of how I was fueling my actions for good results. How so? Well, sometimes, I struggled with a fear of getting hurt (even if not intentional from the other person), or I had self-doubt in myself as a friend, so I allowed insecure thoughts and self-doubt to create distance in my life, rather than intentionally choosing to believe the best in a good friendship and remain positive, all the while walking in healthy balance. Eventually, time would tell that the problem was from fear and self-doubt, rather than having anything to do with my sweet friend(s). I was not truly guarding my heart. I was putting up walls.
Attitude, attitude, attitude!
Many people seem like neat, well-meaning people who have their own insecurities and desire for friendships. I used to think that that automatically meant these were safe people to draw into, and I would open up like a fast-blooming flower! Yikes! Sometimes in these situations, we’ll find ourselves asking things like, “Why do they end up hurting me? I thought we were in the same boat, but they really seemed insensitive. Why did they come across put off or judgy?”
Why is it so tricky?
Honestly, because not only do they seem to be well-meaning and truly kind…they are well-meaning and truly kind.
And that’s where the “but” comes in . . .
Not everyone has the privilege of access to your heart at the same level of others in your life, even if you think you are in the same emotional boat! You may very well be in the same boat, but when you try to open up and lay down your heart, whether with one person or in a group, that doesn’t mean the individual is going to understand what you say the way you mean it to be understood, nor read you the way you feel you are conveying yourself.
Guard your heart.
There have been times I felt I was just being real, raw, personable, and myself, but then I was insightful enough to see that some individuals weren’t at the same level of relating with me as I originally thought.
What I have learned: it’s okay.
We women really need to chill more on things! Ha!
We don’t have to get every acquaintance and friendship to a certain point, understanding, or level of depth. I think when we desire affirmation and confirmation in our standing with someone, or to know if we are as close as we think we are, we try to take something deeper and further and expose ourselves even more to continually be fed that affirmation, trust, and relatability. Truth?
We are just hurting ourselves and opening our hearts up to pain.
The struggle then, is our feeling that the other person is responsible, and that we need to deem them as good, bad, flaky, fake, hypocritical, backstabbing, etc.
They are just human, and we are the ones who hold the most responsibility with our heart.
You are more responsible for your heart than the people you entrust it to. Give grace. Forgive. Allow distance. Don’t pull them in tight and bestow precious thoughts and information that are meant for closer friends. Don’t try to earn something they can’t give. It doesn’t mean they are bad. They are just not the puzzle pieces that interlock as closely as others do.
Take your time. If some people become fast friends, and even deep, dear friends, great! But, don’t take that pace with everyone. It’s okay for different people to be at different levels of trust, depth, and dependability in your life.
Don’t shut people out or build walls because of past hurts. Allow people to come into your life at a discerning flow.
Guard your heart.
Robyn lives in Oregon with her husband and two kids where they enjoy making memories. She is passionate about bringing women together to laugh, cry, and enrich one another in their God-given gifts and unique design! Robyn loves coffee, trying new food, being with friends, and creating projects and moments. She has booklets, journals, and a podcast channel available online.