Self-protective mechanisms certainly take up a lot of energy. We often end up feeling weary, tired or heavy.

Unfortunately, coping mechanisms only cover up emotional griefs and frustrations, they don’t make them go away. We can even feel the toxicity of buried emotions in our bodies, manifested physically as restlessness, mental torture, poor sleep and body pains.

Subconsciously, we remain guarded and on constant alert – unable to rest and enjoy God’s deep, unshakeable joy, hope, and peace. We want to run away and isolate ourselves. Alternatively, we find ourselves easily irritable, judgmental and joyless. We wrap ourselves with a hard exterior.

Romans 15:13 ESV  May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

When we live with a constant “flight or fight” mindset, we find it hard to trust others. We may yearn for relationships where we feel free to be ourselves, but are terrified of opening up. Such vicious cycles of caution and hiding keep us from going to God for restoration. When left unchecked, people will eventually fall into loneliness, depression, self-hatred, or suicidal thoughts.

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