Mend your Heart
Better to mend your heart than to guard it. An armored heart grows rusty and dies. A raw, exposed heart grows stronger with each beating it takes. Don't try to build up armor. The heart does much better by taking damage. Whatever doesn't kill U will increase both your hit points and your rate of regeneration.
In order to grow your heart proactively communicate vulnerably and chase your fears. Each confession makes U stronger. Each confession gives U a shot at asymmetric payoffs. Your wildest dreams could come true, but only if U take the chance.
No one will willing hurt U. No one will intend to crush U. Even if they did, U would just have an opportunity to practice forgiveness. More likely U'll get to practice gratitude for the gentle way in which people recognize your courage.
A heart that doesn't throb doesn't learn, a heart that doesn't pang doesn't grow. U have this heart so that U can learn to expose it with bravery. "Courage" comes from the Latin word "cor", meaning heart, so the way U gain courage comes from using the heart.
Expect to bleed a little in your adventures through life and U'll experience more than U could ever imagine. Remove any armor, set aside any shields. Remember that 忍 literally depicts a blade above a heart. Ninjas did not carry shields. Have the sincerity to expose your heart to danger and U will cherish profound love.
No one can touch the depths of your soul without having the power to wound U. And yet, can anyone truly wound U? Or do they only prepare U for the depth and power of what U will yet discover? Mend your heart and find out.