It is NOT defensiveness. What ever value the term “defensiveness” had has morphed into negative image of a personal character flaw that is often used to put the other in a class of damaged “less than” people, like the Hunchback of Notre Dame, sub-human, even ugly, and full of shame. So “Stop being so defensive” is an accusation that demands a return volley with equal or greater force, as with dueling swordsmen; attack, counter attack until the enemy is dead or vanquished, the victor standing proudly over the pathetic victims corpse, the hunter, rifle in hand, foot on slayed animals neck. “You are so…defensive.” Human dignity won’t allow me the use of the term “defensive” even when referencing my worse enemy.
They are not defensive. They are protecting their self. My self is the most important aspect of being. My life among these billions of people is differentiated by my self. It is me, who I am. I must have value or purpose or I might as well not exist. So I will run when chased by a lion. And I will fight when I perceive you are a threat. Protecting my self is the fundamental aspect of being human. Don’t call me “chicken” because I am brave, so brave that I am afraid that others might see me as not brave and I will protect my image of being brave. Brave is who I am. “Did you just call me ‘chicken? I’ll show you a chicken! Here look in this mirror. That is the yellowist, ugliest, worthless chicken in the world! In fact, your mother was an egg laying, dirt scratching, bug eating chicken before you were hatched!” Touche!
The Wall of Protection is a gift from God to maintain your dignity, preserve your integrity, guard your worth and project your value in the world. I love my Wall of Protection. You have heard the saying, “Good fences make good neighbors?” Well “Good Walls of Protection make healthy people.” And since my Wall of Protection is so essential to my well-being I recognize that you also have a beautiful Wall of Protection and I honor it!
Now, Walls of Protection have no value other than their utilitarian nature. They are not living beings. They are tools, like a car, a hammer or a gun. They are designed for a purpose. So Walls of Protection can be used for good or for evil. Walls have height and depth, made of various material, some even have gates. So access can be regulated and items protected. But Walls of Protection can be used offensively to keep people out, even people who normally would have some access privileges. One can punish others by denying access. This can be a problem. This is a good topic for another time.
What I have learned about Walls of Protection has given me tremendous insight into to people. It helps me humanize them, seeing them as like my self, who has an essential need to protect, value and honor myself so that I can be more than a contributing factor in the world, but one who can relate to the other, my spouse, children, friends, community, world, and in the process observe them, and their Wall, and we, together, can work to make our human neighborhood safe and empowering to accomplish all the work we need to do in our world of love and relationships.