One doesn’t seem always know, neither understand how to open his or herself for this life. Sometimes we do really hiding our self from life, but only if we see that life & our self were quite different matters.
"When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability… To be alive is to be vulnerable." As said by Madeleine L’Engle.
We ought to be vulnerable, so life can enter our self fully, and we can penetrate deep into the question what life is about at all. Then, we may find that life and our self were nothing different at all.