On Being Open or Being Guarded


being open or a guarded heart

I was really overwhelmed by your response to my cry for help post on finding balance last week. It was so encouraging to hear from those of you that left comments and emails for me, I’m glad to know I’m not alone and that we can relate! So, I wanted to talk to you about being open or guarded in relationships, because without going into too much detail just yet, I could use the venting. I’ve been kind of a mess behind the scenes over here in case you haven’t noticed my out-of-the norm absence much yet..

I’ll go ahead and be the first to say that I haven’t had the best of fortune with people close to me lately. I’m quickly realizing that when I’m not doing well I tend to just shut down and guard my heart. I have no issues with talking about a problem or circumstance, but really getting the dirty truth behind my reasons or feelings for something seems to totally escape me. It normally ends in clamming up to keep the temporary peace rather than solving the problem or being uncandidly honest.

In some ways it seems really logical to try and spare feelings, but at the end of the day it’s really just masking the problem, right? At some point you’ll have to be honest to set yourself free a bit, but how and when is the best way is always the question, isn’t it?

photo via Yellow Yellow  design by Sugar & Cloth

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7 thoughts on “On Being Open or Being Guarded

  1. caitlin

    Hey I can definitely relate to being torn between opening your heart or guarding it. I’m reading a really good book right now, it’s actually taking me a long time to get through because I’m so busy with other things, but I think you would really enjoy it. It’s called The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer. Some parts are a bit confusing so you have to close read it but what it definitely has a great message! Hope this helps xx

  2. Vicki

    I’ve learned to be more open. I wish it wasn’t so difficult! I used to be guarded, but that seemed to add to the problems. Now I feel it is better for everyone – even though some feelings may get hurt – I think it is better to be open and honest and work through things than to just let things crumble or just continue to be bad. The relationships that can withstand the tough parts and the awesome parts are the ones you’ll want to keep.

  3. jewel7013

    I have experienced disappointment and devastation, heartbreak and pain. Endless days of darkness and have lost my faith. Grieved over loss and hurt those I love and loved those who hurt me. But my heart is stronger than pain and my faith always returns. I have learned you cant shut down part of your heart without shutting down all of it. All relationships demand vulnerability and the best relationships give us the opportunity to explore, grow, recover from pain, and experience unconditional love. Its a difficult process to walk with an unguarded heart and is achieved one day at a time.

  4. Violet Annie

    I am learning (the hard way) that being open and honest is the right way to go. Closing yourself off in the hopes of “protecting” your heart doesn’t work in the long run and actually causes more pain. It’s hard though. I think you just have to be yourself and believe that that is who you are supposed to be. Easier said than done though, I know! One day at a time I guess and don’t be too hard on yourself :)

  5. kate @ undeniable style

    “It normally ends in clamming up to keep the temporary peace rather than solving the problem or being uncandidly honest.” — I experience the same thing, and it’s so deeply rooted that not only can I not verbalize it to other people, sometimes I can’t even identify it myself. I’m getting better at it, though!

    I’m currently reading Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, and it’s all about being vulnerable, you might enjoy it :)


  6. Audrey - This Little Street

    I used to be more guarded, but I’ve learned to be more open – because in the end, that’s the only way to make problems go away, like you said. It’s the whole short term/long term thing. Being guarded gives you instance “gratification”, while talking about things is much harder. But the more open you become, the easier things get.

  7. Helen

    Ahh, a great question/debate Ashley! I always try to be as open as possible unless I get negative vibes from said person. It’s often said not to judge a book by it’s cover but sometimes, initial judgements are the only way to go to protect yourself. I find yoga or meditation is best to help set the heart free and open it up. Having a good night’s sleep to “sleep on it” also does the trick to and you wake up the next day with a steadier head on how to act or talk.
    Hope things improve soon hun! x Helen


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