You shouldn’t have a guard. You should have a filter. There’s a huge difference, and I promise, it’s a much better way to live.
A guard is a fear-based defense mechanism that you put up and take down over and over again to protect yourself from your own vulnerability in intimate relationships. It’s an exhausting exercise that can weigh down your soul.
A filter isn’t fear-based. You don’t have to put it up or take it down. It’s a permanent part of you that requires a certain amount of inner strength and a well-defined set of personal standards, but it allows you to embrace your vulnerability.
The real trick is accepting the fact that a certain amount of emotional pain is inevitable. Sometimes relationships are gonna hurt, and there’s no getting around it. People who keep their guards up are living in fear of that emotional pain. When they let their guards down, they’re just living in denial of its inevitability.
People with filters accept the inevitability of emotional pain, but they have the self-discipline to mitigate chaos and negativity by either processing it, or cutting it off at the source.