Armor- defensive covering for the body; especially : covering (as of metal) used in combat
I sit here in my room looking at the blinking cursor on my computer thinking of the best way to frame this post. I originally had a post that didn’t say what I wanted to convey the week before Christmas. So now, I’m sitting here in my night-gown with my warm socks on to cover my cold feet thinking about how to say what is on my mind. For once, the words won’t string together in a cohesive unit. The word for Wednesday December 18, 2013 is armor. I chose this word because of a number of reasons. Reason one, I have worn a suit of armor all my life, since I have been old enough to remember. Reason two, when I feel challenged, vulnerable, or scared, I reinforce my armor. I began a journey in 2012 and that is when I began to see my suit of armor slip a little. It began to slip when I had to dig deep and discover what it was that made me behave the way that I behaved when it came to food. Why was I self medicating with food? In 2013, I began a journey in school that made me stop and look at what I had been running away from all my life, emotions.
Sometimes, we all have to let our armor slip. Over the years I have erected walls, moats, drawbridges, heck, I put the Great Wall of China in there, and put on a total suit of armor. Everything matter of fact. No emotion what so ever. I would tell myself that I had to be stronger than the next person. Martyr myself for the cause when inside I was miserable. I kept people at arm’s length because if I opened the door and let someone in and they hurt me, I would not be able to adapt and deal with the pain. I would have to add barbed wire to everything else to keep everyone out. But this year, I have had my foundation shaken more than once by people I trusted. I have been called a liar, told that I’m selfish, and most importantly told that I’m a bad friend. I began the process to putting my armor and walls back up, but then I realized that something that I said to someone this year is true, “start unpacking baggage because it is the only way to move forward in life.” Instead of putting my armor back up, I left it sitting in the corner where it belongs. There comes a point in time when you realize that your armor and everything that you erect around you is too heavy to carry, a burden that is unnecessary. People find a way to play on your insecurities to make you feel worse than you do and you have to decide, do I need to pick up this baggage or do I need to keep moving. I choose to keep moving. We need a suit of armor to get us through the sections of life that we need the armor for, but it’s not an everyday necessity. I used my life as an excuse to put up my armor, I used my job as an excuse, and I used my friendships as validation that my armor was needed. What I learned was there is a time and place for my armor. It could be pulled out when needed, but it is no longer needed all the time.
It is okay to be vulnerable. It is okay to let others see your armor slip. That is what makes us human beings. As I bring this post to a close, I will say to you that learning to let go is easier than you think it is. You have armor as well and you should try to explore what your armor consist of and why it is there. Don’t spend your life hiding behind a suit of armor that will surely protect you, but will not allow people in, let people get to know the real you. Even the strongest person needs a little help and compassion sometimes. It is okay to hear constructive criticism, but there is one thing that I have learned. It comes from Dr. Brene Brown, she said “If you aren’t in the arena getting your butt kicked along with me, I’m not interested in your feedback.” Taking this phrase with us will help you drop that suit of armor and also tell the nay sayers to back off. So sometimes it is great to have extra protection, but ensure that in the process of protecting yourself, you protect yourself in a manner that the armor that you eventually lay down, you never have to worry about picking back up.