Walls

Robert Frost wrote a poem called Mending Wall in which the line “Good fences make good neighbors” summed up the point of that poem.  Have you ever had a friend put up walls and found it incredibly hard to get past them?  Why do they do this?  What has happened to them to create these walls?

 

I have a friend that I am very fond of, but sometimes the friendship is not so even.  That person inquires of me and I respond, but when I inquire of that person, the questions are ignored and pushed aside.  Now do not get me wrong I think very highly of this person and I have the utmost respect, but sometimes I wish the lines of communication were more open than closed.

 

Why do we construct walls?  I had to think long and hard before I could come to some conclusion.  I, myself, used to be that way.  For me it stemmed from past betrayal and disappointment.  I was never very good at trusting others.  Thoughts linger back to when I was in school and back then I was very trusting.  Actually I was too trusting and quite gullible.  I was easy prey for fellow classmates who found ways to make me the willing fool in their pranks.  That coupled with some family issues made me change and become very guarded and mistrustful of others.  I became jaded and did not know who to believe or who to confide in; thus the walls started to form and soon they grew out of proportion.

 

I lived that time of my life in a bubble of some sort.  I was afraid to trust.  I was afraid to give out any information about me that could at a later date be used against me.  Like a bird afraid to leave the nest and see what the world offered, I stayed close to home.  I gave up many opportunities for friendships and relationships because of this.

 

One day I met someone whom I absolutely adored and I forced myself to break down my walls to be around this person.  At first I thought he was very arrogant, but soon I realized he had walls around himself as well.  I stepped outside of myself and found myself wanting to break down those walls.  I saw someone behind the walls that I wanted to know and have in my life.  It took a lot of pounding, chiseling, and one day a crack appeared.  The wall was weakening and a new strength was emerging.  It forced me to look at myself as well, and to see that we need to take a chance and learn to let others into our lives.  He started to open up as well, and he was making progress.  I saw a new light shine in his eyes, but sadly just as this was beginning, his life was ending.

 

I was devastated.  I was very angry and so susceptible to rebuilding new walls to save me from this pain.  However, I remembered how moved I was by the poem Mending Wall and I chose to not build walls, but to vow to break them down.  I no longer wanted to be afraid or to run away from life.

 

I know it is scary and some like to just keep to themselves.  However, we were never meant to be alone or to have a surface only friendship.  We were meant to build one another up, to have someone to confide in, to trust, and to be there through the good and the bad.  We were never meant to substitute walls for friends.

 

I just ask if there is someone like this in your life whom you treasure or just enjoy talking with, go past the surface and find out what is underneath.  Go slow and realize it takes time.  Friendships should be created slowly and raised on a good foundation.  Both parties need to respect one another, and to take time to get to know one another.  Walls weren’t built overnight and it can take forever sometimes for them to come falling down.  Be patient, but do not give up.  Friendships are worth the effort we put into them. To some “good fences make good neighbors”, but to me, I like open space, a friendly face and room to grow.  I am an optimist and I believe one day this friend will take a chance, and let the wall come down and trust again.  In the meantime, I will wait patiently as a true friend should do.

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