g a t h e r i n g s

In Defense of Our Defenses

First, I bow to my defenses and to the defenses of others because one way or another they helped get us to this moment. And this moment is big. It is the time right before, just a second or two before … we take a fresh step into the open air; we do something differently; we claim our dream as, perhaps, separate from others’ dreams for us; we permit ourselves something positive; we take the best of what was given and we imagine, and then know, that we can grow that “best” exponentially.

In this next moment, as the self rises up, even just a little, the defenses can fall to the floor like a coat that has suddenly become more uncomfortable than not. It was a good coat in the right time and place; now, it is cumbersome and heavy. We have kept it for so long. In this next moment, we can allow it to fall away, with love.

The alternatives we know. We try to deny or defy our defenses. In this, we stay in very close proximity at all times, pushing away or hiding behind or ignoring or pretending. No matter which of these paths we take, the defenses are always close by, often a step ahead of us, recognized only in retrospect. Oh right, that was my fear -- or anger, or withdrawal, or rejection -- again. That was my defense making a decision, not me, or not the me who is clear and optimistic, who is ready. My defense kicked in without that me, a reflex. My defense is not in present time; it deals with now from a place long ago.

But for the next moment to be a truly new moment, we have to do something different in the moment before. One first step: move out of the sphere of our defenses – different from attempting to eradicate them, or pretending they don’t exist, or being bullied by them. Stepping out means, in part, staying friendly with our defenses, old friends we look toward with fondness, but with whom we simultaneously realize we are no longer in sync. In this way, we allow for compassion and self-love and, at the same time, we gain distance from the defenses that once served a purpose but no longer do.

With our defenses honored, given a place, we may be better prepared for the next moment in this moment, for the now that already is and that is coming.