I have spent a lot of my life in armor. Probably because I suffered quite a hefty dose of loss when I was a child, defensiveness protected me. But it also shielded me. You can't receive a hug until you take off that big piece of steel. And of course, connection was all I really wanted.
Deep under the metal suit, there was always a person with quite normal hopes and dreams. I wanted to tell my stories, and offer them to the world. I believed in my own version of truth. I cared about the world and those in it. But I needed help.
My struggle reminds me of the character of Eustace in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, by C.S. Lewis. Eustace's misdeeds transform him into a dragon, and the only way to regain his true form is by dragging his scaly skin off with his own sharp claws. The process is painful, and hard. It works because Eustace is willing to leave his insecure, peevish actions behind and become a regular kid. From there, true adventure with his Pevensie cousins awaits.
What if you could walk unarmed and available for fellowship? Would the pain be worth the thrill of living a full life, with risk, but in the company of fellow travelers?
I think so. After all, armor is heavy, and without it I feel much lighter.