I watch him build the wooden walls of his tower, painstakingly. One by one. They stand in solidarity for mere moments, only to topple before even I can add another brick. This is child’s play, and it is fascinating to watch him. These walls are made for crashing, in his view. In his mind’s eye. This is amusement and discovery and cause-and-effect. This is pure delight. His sole reason for creating is to therefore demolish. To knock down, tear down- flatten. He is happiest when things fall over. When walls come down.
And so am I.
These walls we’ve built up to protect us- they are false protection. We build them high and bolster them with whatever is at our disposal. We claim we haven’t enough time to explain the reasons for their existence- we’re too busy. And no one would even understand their purpose anyway. That’s what we say. We say they’re necessary- we need these walls. They are protection. It’s a cruel world out there- someone is always trying to attack. To assault. And we’re always on the defensive. We need these walls, or so we think- we’d be devastated without them. We’d be naked. Wide open for onslaught.
Our walls. Built to shut the world out. To keep the world from knowing. Knowing our little secrets, that is.
Those shameful, little secrets.
Secrets…that we are trying to keep hidden.
About marriages which are failing.
About struggles we’re having with anger. With doubt. With depression. With disappointment. Fear. Anxiety. Disillusionment.
Secrets about our struggle with abuse.
Secrets about our addictions.
We keep these secrets because we are afraid. We’re scared.
Petrified that someone will find out.
Because if anyone ever knew our secrets, they might come to discover our frailty. Our weaknesses. Our imperfections. We’d be exposed and heaven help us- what could happen then?
No one ever enjoyed feeling bare and exposed.
Wide open for humiliation.
But what if in toppling those walls, we were known. Truly known.
Known for our humanity. For our beauty. For our uniqueness.
What if we were known and loved for our imperfections. Known and loved in spite of our flaws and failings?
What if telling- what if sharing secrets brought us freedom? What if speaking our truths allowed us to breathe again?
What if we were lovingly held, even in our brokenness? And rebuilt anew?
Again and again and again.
Because that’s what living sometimes entails: a process of starting over. A renewal. A chance to have a new beginning. A chance to say, “I’m not hiding anymore.”
What if beauty were to come from ashes.
Sometimes it takes feeling scared to bring us closer to the Sacred. And while we might falter, while we might fall- we are held. In Arms of Love.
May we never forget: Our secrets are merely precious stories waiting to be told. And walls are meant for toppling so those stories can be re-written. Retold. Time and time again.