Over the years, you have slowly built up a wall around you. It wasn't something you tried to do on purpose. You didn't wake up one morning and decide to keep the world at arm's reach. The wall was built to protect your heart and keep the hurt out. One too many people did you wrong. Your heart broke one too many times. You got one too many bruises.
But what good has this wall done? You keep people on the outside, because by your logic, people can't hurt you if they don't get close. So you keep everyone just far enough away so even if they do you wrong, your heart won't be broken. So you keep yourself distant. You realize you have become the girl that people know, but don't really know. You let people see what you want them to see, but there is a lot more to you than that.
In reality, every one puts their guard up; just some more than others. It becomes a challenge to overcome when being guarded isn't just something that changes with the situation, but is something that quietly lives in the back of your mind.
This has become your way of life. It's the way you coast through life every day without much of a second thought. Until you do give it a thought. You feel the empty feeling in your gut. And then the challenge you face is not keeping people out, but somehow finding a way to let them back in. How do you knock down a wall that you have spent so long trying to build?
Deconstructing such a wall is not easy, but it is possible.
It means being vulnerable. It means exactly what you have been avoiding for so long. But look at it this way, sometimes you have to accept that people will do you wrong. Your heart will break. You will be bruised. But hearts always mend themselves and bruises heal. Keeping your heart guarded is the safe way to live. You protect yourself from the hurt, but you also keep yourself from meeting people who can bring you happiness and love.
So to the girl with her guard up, you are not alone in this. Whatever happened is in the past, so it's time to stop blaming yourself for things you no longer have control over. You deserve every amount of happiness, friendship, and love as the next person. This is temporary. I promise that you won't feel like this forever. Being guarded doesn't make you damaged or any less you than you were before. To have your guard up is a challenge that you are facing right now, but it does no define you and it is not who you are as person. We all fight our battles, and right now, this just happens to be yours.