Sometimes we gather things around us with the hope of creating a defense from the world so we won't get hurt. It can feel like we are making ourselves safer and more powerful. Instead we're still just as sensitive, with the added weight of more than we need.
I find that for me, what helps me avoid the heavy false armor is being okay with feeling vulnerable. It feels more satisfying to me to have the openness that comes with vulnerability. Sometimes life gets intense and I fear that the weight and force of the world might break me because I'm unprotected. But then, I survive. I'm not crushed. Instead, I feel the flow of life through me -- something I can't feel if I'm using false armor to try to protect myself.
This reminds me of a client who had hung on to all of her school work and textbooks from when she was getting her master's degree eight years ago. She felt attached to her school work and didn't want to let it go, even though she had never revisited her notes or books. She confessed that this part of her life was the last time she felt powerful. She said she was afraid of what might happen if she let it go.
I told my client that she looked frightened and tired in her defense of that time in her life. It's hard to try and live behind a shield whose maintenance exhausts us. I said maybe she was naturally powerful even unaided by false armor.
My client looked at each syllabus, page of notes, essay, article and book and let them go. She cried as she lightened her load. In her tear-soaked face and bloodshot eyes, she looked tremendously alive and mighty.