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Walls Around My Heart
Hearts are sacred ground with a fortress of protective walls. Only gentleness, kindness and love can dissolve the walls in due time. ~ Teresa Hicks, Love Recon
Inner Survival Promises are promises that we have made, consciously or unconsciously, when we were hurt to protect ourselves from further pain. As a child, you began life with a tender, open heart. You were trusting and vulnerable. Unfortunately, you experienced pain and hurt and so you made an inner vow that you would never allow yourself to experience that same pain again. That vow could be called an Inner Survival Promise (ISP). An ISP is a solemn promise you make to yourself, usually in a moment of pain, in an effort to soothe your wounded soul.
The problem with ISP’s is that they often become walls between you and others. It is true that they can also become walls between you and your true self. ISP’s can block you from growth and from achieving your goals.
These walls “protect” you, but they also isolate you. People in your life can’t get close to you because you won’t allow them to. A protective barrier not only keeps hurtful people out, but it also blocks the free flow of love from the good healthy relationships. The Inner Survival Promise can run your life and keep you imprisoned in unhealthy compulsions and phobias.
Many ISP’s take the form of a statement that begins with “I will never”… Or “I will always”…
Examples: When a person is feeling rejected, he or she may vow to “never” again share their true feelings with anyone. Or, if a child gets teased for being different, they may vow to “always” follow the crowd in the future. These seemingly harmless vows end up forming directives in our lives that dictate our future behavior.
Read through this list of possible ISPs’ and determine if any are yours:
- When I grow up, no one will ever tell me what to do
- I will never trust a man again
- I will never trust a woman again
- I will never stand out and always blend in
- I will never get married
- I will never have kids
- I will never fall in love again
- I will never be out of control again
- I will never let anyone hurt me again
- I will never open my heart again
- I will never be poor
- I will never embarrass myself in public
- I will never speak in public again
- I will never go to church again
- I will never be too strict with my kids
- I will never trust God again
What walls did you build as a result of your ISP’s? Are they still blocking you from life and love? How are they affecting your marriage and relationships? What do YOU need to do to be able to lower your walls?
Answer these Questions:
- What ISP’s have you made in your life?
- What walls have you lowered in the past?
- What walls, if any, have gone back up and why?
- How can your spouse support you in lowering any walls?
TODAY’S CHALLENGE: Turn the lights down low. Play your favorite romantic song and slow dance together. Kissing is definitely allowed!
Suggested Scripture: Ephesians 4:2