Emotional boundaries are passed on from one generation to the next. Therapists can spend years with some patients before they will open up. Respect your defenses even while working to dissolve them. Inner walls don’t come crashing down; they melt. So don’t think anyone expects you to bravely assault your defenses and plunge through them like a warrior. Your greatest weapons are willingness, honesty, and patience.
Having made a space for trusting yourself, you now need someone else to trust. Healing is not a matter of solitary work. Don’t automatically put your best friend, spouse, or big sister at the top of your list. Be objective about who is emotionally available and who isn’t. Look for someone who is tolerant and accepting of their own flaws, someone who listens well and doesn’t impose their own judgments on others.
These are people you can begin to trust. Approach such a person and ask permission to share one kind of distress that you really want to talk about. Sharing is crucial, for if you expect them to be open to you, it is only fair that you be open to them.
Your intention is to bring shy, hidden, embarrassing, guilty, or shameful energies to view. This exposure sets the stage for dealing with these energies.
Adapted from The Deeper Wound: Recovering the Soul from Fear and Suffering, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2001).