Do We Need to Be Putting Up Walls or Tearing them Down?

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

The idea of my country building a wall between itself and a neighboring country is ironic when I look at what my personal journey is about.

I’ve spent years searching out my own invisible walls so that, once found, I’d be able to deconstruct them.

By “invisible” wall, I mean any recurring thought-pattern within myself that causes me to cut myself off from any other person unnecessarily. This may translate into feelings of superiority or inferiority, selfishness, pride, envy, fear, defensiveness, and the like.

We all unconsciously developed self-defense mechanisms as we grew up. These helped us “protect” our fragile sense of self when we discovered, to our innocent surprise, that people can be cruel — or at least less than kind.

As unpleasant situations arose we figured out how to build invisible “armor” to withdraw behind, where we could nurse our hurt feelings and wounded pride at a distance. This armor also served to keep out more of the bad stuff.

What we didn’t realize is that it kept out the good stuff, too.

We got skilled at ducking into and back out of this armor, but over time we became trapped in it.

Many of us reach a point when life feels almost unbearably heavy because we’re crushed under the weight of our invisible armor.

As adults, we’re more seasoned, wiser, and less fragile than we were as children. Many of us understand not to take people personally. We get that the way people treat (and treated) us often has nothing to do with us in the least, and everything to do with them.

And yet, our walls were diligently and masterfully constructed, and even though we could live without them we don’t usually see that until we start to become more conscious and self-aware.

This realization started for me in my late 20’s, when it dawned on me that my walls were a barrier between myself and a life lived fully.

Those invisible barriers that seemingly keep me protected from the dangers and ills of life have been seen for what they are: a big sham.

And so, I’ve been in the business of tearing down any remaining walls ever since.

Photo by George Pagan III on Unsplash
The thing about walls is that they always do more than keep out the unwanteds. They keep out the wanteds, too.

And even if they only kept out the bad stuff, who am I to decide that stuff isn’t ultimately there for my growth and development?

Walls reinforce my separateness, which is to say, my ego. They keep “them,” there and “me,” here.

They reinforce fear, hate, and division when what I’m after is the opposite. I’m after love, oneness, and unity.

Why?

Because that is truth.

At essence, we are all one. We are all manifestations of the same consciousness, the same source. Call it God or whatever you will.

Hatred for others breeds self-hatred, too, because we are hating that which is ultimately us.

Whether a wall is physical or symbolic, either way, it’s a sham. And at some point, it will have to fall.

Our walls, real or not, reinforce that we are different. But that’s a lie because we’re not. Not really. Not in the ways that count.

We’re all spirit living in temporary costumes we refer to as bodies.

We take the costume to be who we really are, but let’s not forget that’s just an illusion.


This Time Around

Must have had my fill of keeping life at bay.
Got a crack in my shell the other day.
Now, through the crack, life suddenly courses.
Nobody needs to call the king’s horses.
Nor do they need to call the king’s men.
This time around,
I’m letting life in.


This piece was inspired by a similarly themed piece I published on my blog. The poem above was first published within that piece: