“People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges.”~Joseph Fort Newton
It’s a gray morning. Another relationship has just ended and she sits alone, wondering why. Why is she always the one to leave?
She runs away from love the way a child runs from a bee’s sting. She hates being alone but is stuck in a destructive pattern where she creates her own loneliness. She builds walls to protect her but the walls prevent love from getting in.
When will she learn to build a bridge?
Bridges do more than to connect. They help us surmount obstacles and reach places that we dream about. But constructing a bridge takes time, patience, ingenuity and planning. Once constructed, it re-shapes our environment into a friendlier place. The load we carry is made lighter and the path is made easier. People should build bridges and not walls.
My friend is a woman who reflects on past relationships and regrets each loss. But like a butterfly, she’s free to fly away, leaving her partner to wonder why. She wonders why too.
So why do people, like my friend, set them self up for heartbreak and loss?
Why do they run when things are good, fearing that things will have to turn bad? Is it a need for control?
According to Dr. Gerry Heisler, a clinical psychologist dealing with relationship issues, it may be just that. In his article, You Can Be Too Controlling For Your Own Good and Drive Lovers Away: You can drive away the love you seek by being too controlling, he writes:
“Any time you are in a relationship, the person who cares the least about the other is the one who is in control of the relationship. This is the person who is more likely to be the dumper and not the unfortunate dumpee. Being in control may allow you to stay protected but it more often leads to boredom because you may not be that emotionally invested. You can evolve to the emotional state of feeling blah. This is where it doesn't matter if your partner stays or leaves. These kinds of relationships lack the intensity people in genuine relationships may experience. If you remain in control, you may frequently feel unfulfilled and empty, but you also may avoid the emotional roller-coaster of an authentic love relationship love.
Some people need to consider relinquishing control because over-controlling blocks intimacy. While guarding against being hurt and searching for some kind of guarantee that the relationship will work, some remain cool and inflexible. To control yourself less, you need to let yourself feel vulnerable to another. This certainly can create anxiety and even fear.”
False Belief: Control Brings Safety
In my friend’s case, she needs to be in control. She believes this will protect her. By pushing her partner away, building walls, she will somehow avoid the possibility of pain. This need for control is what’s preventing her from building a healthy relationship (or bridge) between two unique people.
Fearing rejection or possible hurt is the wall. She needs to open a window and let love in, like fresh air. She needs to allow herself to be loved for she deserves to experience the warmth that real love brings, like the warmth of the sun- get out and play in the warmth and don't worry about being burned. Enjoy being loved. If she hates lonliness, she has to stop creating it. See a therapist and learn how (if it's needed).
I’m no shrink; just a part-time freelance writer.
I feel for my friend (and for anyone like her). Maybe that’s why I needed to write this, hoping she might read it and consider the possibility that she needs to live in a world without walls. If she really wants to be free, like a butterfly, then she has to become fearless and take risks.
I hope she (or anyone like her) will begin to understand how walls hinder travel. A butterfly can not fly through a wall. It can only light on it and if it remains "stuck", will sadly never experience the fun or excitement one will feel when crossing a bridge.
If only my friend would find the courage (that I know she holds inside) to cross it. Beauty is waiting for her on the other side.