KarateWhen I was younger there were a number of family vacations that got planned only to be later cancelled. There was no one to blame for the change in plans, it was circumstance.

One time as a family we were planning to go to Greece – my mother, brother and I were to join my father on a business trip. My mother had begun teaching my brother and me basic Greek phrases in preparation.  Just as we were becoming comfortable with some basic words, the trip was cancelled. My father had changed jobs and the opportunity was no longer there for us to travel to Greece.  I didn’t blame anyone, but I was greatly disappointed.

In other cases there was a trip or two that was in the works only to be pushed out indefinitely.  Again the news was met with disappointment. It was later, when I was older and planning my own vacations I realized something about myself. I didn’t allow myself to get excited about vacation prior to its start for fear that it would be cancelled.  It wasn’t a conscious thing I was doing; it was a defense mechanism I created from my earlier experiences.   It took time, but I have worked in my personal life to eliminate that defense and take joy in the anticipation of going away.  And if you are curious, yes I have travelled to Greece.

Often we create defense mechanisms to keep us from being hurt, disappointed and sad.  That’s understandable, we want to protect ourselves, but we must make sure that in that effort to shield ourselves we don’t close ourselves out from what could be a joyous thing.  Whether it is in trusting others, trusting ourselves, or just believing that a situation will be positive it is essential that we don’t eliminate our belief that things can work out.

I now encourage myself to get excited about vacation before I even start thinking of packing.  I am grateful that I have been able to recognize my previous resistance to getting excited ahead of time and that I have overcome it.  Tomorrow I leave on a brief journey, and I can’t wait to go and have this wonderful experience.

Tell me in the comments below what natural defenses you have created in your life or that you have been able to overcome!