Earlier today I was having a conversation with one of my very best friends. She was recently on an airplane, and apparently the woman behind her was a little bit disturbed. Some gentleman accidentally sat in her seat, and she “went off” on him, saying something like, “I’m so mad right now! I could kill you!” There was a bit more, like her having some significant issues with my friend tying to recline her seat.
Not a great experience for my friend, and likely the passengers around this woman. I said, “Man. I wish I could have been there. That would have been fun!” “Ummm…” I just thought, wouldn’t it be interesting to discover all of the layers why this woman was so bothered at this point in time? Wouldn’t be great to get underneath the armor of her apparent anger, fear, and disintegration?
No? Just me?
I know it’s assuming a lot–that there is something at work in this woman that is either causing her to behave this way, or to at least be influencing her behavior. However, there’s always a reason why we behave like we do when we do. So, I thought I would write a short piece on how sometimes we cover ourselves with armor. It’s in first person, because it seems more compelling that way.
(Note: This post isn’t about me. It’s about what I have seen in some of the amazing people I’ve known over the years.)
Anyway, here we go.
I like my armor. I keep it shined up, free of rust. When it gets dented in battles and fights, I’m quick to pound out the dents.
My helmet protects me well (it’s so heavy, heavy, heavy…). The face plate is pretty narrow, so my vision isn’t very true. And, it’s really hard to see what’s next to me. Impossible to see what’s behind me, even if I turn and look. Still, it protects me, keeps my head whole, my brain in tact. But it’s so very heavy.
I’m completely covered with this armor, head to foot. When I wear my armor, I’m barely recognizable. Maybe I put on some color, some symbols, on the outside. Then, when I wear my armor, it’s me-and-not-me. Safe, secure. Heavy heavy.
This piece covers my anger. This piece my fear. This one hides my disappointments, my hurts, my feelings of betrayal and distrust. But this one–this one that I spend the most time taking care to polish, to push out the dents? This one is my favorite. It covers my shame, my feeling of being unworthy. Of love, of happiness, affection and joy.
Isn’t it pretty? I’ll bet if you get close enough, you can see yourself in it. Because I know you can see yourself in this, in me, in what I’m covering.
This armor–so heavy. And, it takes such effort to keep it clean, to polish it, to whack out the dents. But it’s worth it, because it protects and hides me. Even if it makes me walk clumsily along in life, with narrow vision, it’s better than being hurt.
Well, I think that’s it for now. Part 2 will be the other side of this, and will come out soon.
On a side note: If you get the chance to stream “Knight Fight” on the History channel, it’s pretty rad. Men get armored up, use blunted weapons, and beat the hell out of each other in a competition.