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All of us, to a greater or lesser degree, have been raised to keep our guard up.
To let anyone or anything too close is to risk being hurt.
And maybe that's been proven true to us over time, ever hardening our resolve not to expose ourselves to the risk of being hurt.
So we turtle.
We tuck our tender parts--including our availability itself-- inside this shell, into the darkness, where it's seemingly safe.
And that probably has had good value. Visit any high school playground, and one remembers why the emotional shields were up.
Teasing and taunting, all the while we were trying to establish our own identity--a mean feat while hormones are raging and emotional confusion reigns supreme.
This is where most experience their greatest sense of a separated nature, the great myth that there's a separate you and a me.
That's why the guard-up defense mechanisms seem necessary.
Many, even most, bring this "living-in-a-silo" mentality right into their adulthood.
If we're lucky, something, unusual, and foreign and a bit scary happens.
We become vulnerable.
Vulnerability is the first step to allowing meaningful change, especially when we don't know what that change will bring.
This is true of love.
This is true of deep friendship.
True of intimacy.
And it's especially true of spiritual awakening.
All guards must be down, and arms reaching out, begging our infinite selves to take us completely--swallow us whole.
If it's done right, it will feel unusual, foreign and quite likely damned scary.
And rightly so.
What is about to take place is a dramatic, and destructive transformation.
That sense of self and individuality groomed so vigorously in our teens will be hacked to shreds.
The ego will be set on fire and burned to the ground.
What will occur with crystal clarity is that none of that EVER served any purpose, except to bring us suffering.
So enquire within.
How ready are you to be completely and utterly vulnerable?
If it feels close, go ahead, lead with your chin spiritually.
See what happens.