Protection and letting go

Cynthia ConnopLife tips, Love tips, relationshipsLeave a Comment

Protection, closing off physically and emotionally, is sometimes very necessary, but mostly it causes the harm it seeks to avoid. Here I am talking about unnecessary protection that usually comes from past fears.

When we are younger we are naturally open, and we may be hurt, severely disappointed or traumatised. Therefore, we conclude it’s not safe to be open as it leads to painful experiences and feelings. We protect ourselves in unique ways.

Letting go of protectionAs human beings we have a long gestation time, then once we are born we have years of vulnerability. We lack sharp teeth, claws, armour, stingers or camouflage. Necessarily then we are wired for bonding to our protective parents and carers. Physically and emotionally this make us helpless and vulnerable, and also vulnerable to abandonment and rejection.

During our lives we experience imperfect parenting, peer group pressures and even bullying or abuse, and then may come relationship losses, so we develop habits of protection. It makes perfect sense at the time to hide our soft centres, even eventually from ourselves. But as we grow and mature we realise unnecessary protection doesn’t work. It temporarily avoids pain, but at a cost.


·    Protection may aim to keep us ‘safe’ but eventually it keeps us separate from others, and vulnerable to loneliness and despair, or to a feeling of superficiality in our lives and relationships.

·    The illusion is that we need protection to be safe. The reality is that unless we are facing real harm, protection will keep us from the closeness we need to thrive. It can make us unhealthy, cause sickness and stress. It can prevent us resolving hurts and issues.

·     Protection decreases pleasure. If we are contracting our bodies in protection, then pleasure is decreased. Pleasure requires openness, relaxation and letting go.

·     If we are overly protected, we become more reactive to the ‘slings and arrows’ of life. It is like a shell that feels safe, but is actually brittle, and rocks with every movement. Without protection we have natural ‘shock absorbers’ to the knocks of life.

Protection can be invisible. Do you know that moment when you let-go, and realise ‘wow I’ve been protecting myself’? You had gotten so used to it you didn’t even notice it was there. It feels normal, but it isn’t.


·      Protection can be criticising others, wanting others to change or trying to fix them.

·      Withdrawing to be ‘safe’ or to reduce overwhelm.

·      Being cerebral and analytical instead of raw and vulnerable.

·      Making the other person wrong – needing to be ‘right’ or ‘in control’.

·      A lack of commitment. Avoiding intimate relationships.

·      Hanging onto beliefs about your opening that don’t serve you.


·    Our protective identities are there to preserve the status quo, to keep us safe. If we disturb them too vigorously it can create backlash, so we need to honour those protective parts of ourselves. But also, to be aware of what protection serves us and what harms us.

·    Letting go of protection (in safe circumstances) requires an internal softening of your breath, your body and your stance.

·    Do bodily practices to increase openness. Yoga, dance, breath work, tai chi etc.  Also sensing your tension or contraction, and releasing it.

·    Become aware of how you protect yourself with certain types of clothing, attitudes, words, even holding inflexible opinions.

·    Avoid withholding, criticising, deflecting, or blaming others.Letting go of protection

·    Do inner work to heal hurts from past relationships.

·    Seeing your part in painful events is empowering. Then you can trust yourself to make different choices in the future.

·    Connect with what you really want outside of the protection. It can’t be found when a barrier is in place. Boundaries are self-care, barriers are protection.

Mainly we need to take courage and let our guard down and let life open us in all its wonderful and difficult way.

With love and appreciation,


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *