How To Love the You Beneath Your Defenses, Fears and Hurt

Love the you who is beneath your defenses, fears and hurt

It’s time for you to learn how to love the you who is beneath your defenses, fears and hurt. This is a guide to self-love and acceptance in the face of life’s challenges.

Each of us carries within us a raw, unvarnished, truest version of ourselves –  buried deep beneath our defenses – and seldom allowed to step into the light of our everyday personas.

It is time to learn how to love this tender and achingly authentic you.

In fact, this is the you that requires your utmost attention and compassion – the you that deserves the most love.

And yes this is scary – because this involves confronting the uncomfortable truth of your existence: you are flawed, you are afraid, and you have been hurt.

But in order to live your most fulfilling life, you must recognize that acknowledging your fear and pain is not a sign of weakness, but the first step toward genuine self-love.

The Fortress of Defense

beneath defensesYour defenses are not without reason.

You have erected them, brick by brick, after each disappointment and betrayal – after each loss that you tucked away deep in the labyrinth of your psyche.

Unfortunately, these very defenses are hindering your growth.

In order to love the “you” beneath your defenses, you must first acknowledge their existence. Then question their necessity.

  • Are your defenses serving you?
  • Or are your defenses serving your fears?

The Mask You Wear

From an early age, you are taught to present a face to the world that is acceptable, likable, and strong.

These “masks” are the faces that smile when you’re seething inside, that nod when you disagree, that say “I’m fine” when you’re anything but.

Basically, these masks are your armor against a world that often feels too abrasive for your true self to handle.

But it’s not the mask that’s the issue.

It’s that you forget you’re wearing it.

You get so used to presenting this carefully constructed version of yourself that you start to believe it’s who you truly are.

  • But beneath that mask is a self that is more authentic, more vulnerable.

This is the “you” that’s been through every battle, every heartache, and every defeat.

It’s the “you” that deserves to be loved, not in spite of your scars and fears, but because of them.

Your defenses are like the walls of a castle.

They are built to protect, but often isolate you.

These defenses block you from what you desire most: connection, authenticity, and love.

These walls are built out of the lies you tell yourself.

  • Lies like “I’m not good enough because I’ve been rejected before!” or “I can’t do this because I’ve failed before!”
  • These are the mantras of your fears, repeated until they become your reality.

The Shadows of Fear

Love the you who is beneath your defenses, fears and hurtFear is the underlying current of your every defense mechanism.

It’s the whisper that turns into a scream when you’re faced with the prospect of vulnerability.

I encourage you to tackle these fears head-on, not with the intention of eradicating them, but with the purpose of understanding them.

The Echoes of Hurt

Hurt is the ghost that haunts you, the remnants of the past that you carry into our present. It is an indelible part of who you are.

  • In many ways, your hurt defines your values.
  • What brings you pain is what reveals what you care about most.

Hurt is perhaps the most fertile ground for your growth.

Yet you treat your “hurt” as if it’s something shameful, something to be hidden and ignored.

Pain is inevitable, but continuing to suffer is your personal choice.

Basically, it’s what you do with your hurt that defines you, not the hurt itself.

  • Do you let the hurt fester – and turn into bitterness?
  • Or do you learn from this hurt – and move forward?

I encourage you to stop saying “I wish I hadn’t been hurt” and start saying “I choose to learn from my hurt.”

It’s time to acknowledge your pain not as a burden, but as a teacher.

Every instance of hurt is an opportunity to ask, “What can this teach me?” It’s a chance to grow stronger, wiser, and more empathetic.

Loving the Real You

So how do you love this hidden self?

It starts with awareness—recognizing when you’re slipping into the comfort of your masks and defenses.

  • Call this the “uncomfortable truth” that self-awareness brings.
  • It’s seeing the raw parts of yourself and not turning away in disgust or fear.

Mindfully Choose Self-Love

Self-love is a term that’s tossed around like confetti in self-help circles, often without substance or clarity.

But what does it truly mean to love yourself – especially the parts of you that are less than shiny?

  • Self love is about choosing to bravely care about the right things—like your well-being, your growth, and your authenticity.
  • And it’s about putting in the effort to stop thinking and start doing – so you can move from self-love as a concept to self-love as a practice.
  • Self love is when you feel the temptation to hide your true self. But instead – you choose to love and accept yourself for who you are. And thereby you choose to practice “curated vulnerability.”

You Must Practice Curated Vulnerability To Live A Fulfilling Life

To love the you beneath it all is to practice “curated vulnerability.”

It’s to stand in the open, without armor, and to be seen.

  • This doesn’t mean you allow every passerby to wield a sword against you.
  • You must be selective about who you choose to be vulnerable with.

The Journey Forward

Loving the real you – the you beneath your defenses – is a journey that never truly ends.

It’s a process of continual growth, learning, and, most importantly, unlearning.

It is essential to put in the effort to unlearn the beliefs and defenses which no longer serve you – so you can embrace the full spectrum of your humanity – and enjoy healthy self love.

Want further support to heal your defenses, fears and hurt?

Maybe it’s time to chat with a Mindset Mastery Coach – like myself.  I encourage you to explore my 1 on 1 Zoom Mindset Mastery Sessions. I will help you to master your thoughts, beliefs and habits – so you can enjoy your life more.

Get Tools to Let Go of Stressful Thoughts

Explore my bestselling, research-based online program, The Anxiety Cure Online Course – which is therapist recommended.

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