Getting Past the Barrier

What outplays in a nation’s government is an exact reflection of the consciousness of its people. With Trump constantly talking about building a wall, I find that most Americans have actually built a wall around themselves.

Why are we so guarded and reluctant to share our feelings with others? Why is it that most of us don’t even know how to open up? When will we take down these invisible barriers we’ve put up around ourselves? You know, the ones we use so that others can’t come too close.

When I meet someone, I’ll try to get under their surface. I’ll prod, poke, and throw all sorts of questions at them. I’m trying to get to their story and figure out the type of batteries they run on. Heck, I‘ll sometimes even volunteer to tell a piece of my story with the hopes they too will open up. Just doing what I can to build up a connection, not a barrier. I find that if I know your story and you know mine, then all of a sudden we’re no longer worlds apart.

Sadly, most choose to still keep the conversation at the surface level and sometimes I’ll even end up listening to crickets. Most will walk away with my story, while failing to reciprocate the gesture.

I’ve come to the conclusion that people just don’t want to be put in a situation where they have to be vulnerable, so they will simply gloss over your story and nod as they slowly back away from you.

I don’t want to generalize and say this applies to all Americans. But I have to say that I experience this in most of the people that I come across here. Being born and raised in the US, I didn’t notice it so much at first. But after visiting several other countries and interacting with the open-hearted and expressive people there, I can clearly see where we lack. Upon returning to American society, the barriers have become quite obvious.

At this point I am so over the small talk and fluffy relationships. Wearing a mask is suffocating. I’ve taken mines off and am done with upholding emotional facades, surface-level conversations, and fake realities. Lately, I find myself skipping past the hum-drum pleasantries and moving along when I am offered the mask.

If we can’t fully express ourselves, then how are we going to heal from the things that burden us? Not sure what could possibly be so earth shattering about others witnessing the expression of our true selves? Not sure what we have to protect so much? But whatever it is, I guess it’s worth the trouble of building up a barrier.

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