We often try to protect ourselves by building walls and layers upon layers around us to keep what we’re afraid of out. Away. Out of sight. And when something is already a part of us, inside us, we don’t see that instead of keeping it out, we’re actually holding it in.
Mark Nepo, in “The Book of Awakening” described this very feeling by way of example from the movie Phenomenon. John Travolta’s character built a fence to keep a rabbit out of his yard but the rabbit kept reappearing. It was only once he opened the gate did the rabbit run out and not return.
How often do we do this? How often do we try protect ourselves from something by believing we keeping it out when all we need to do is let it out. We think we don’t have any pain or hurt or loss to face because we’ve always kept up high walls, not accepting the fact that we have the high walls because we’ve previously faced pain and hurt. The pain and hurt arrives and it’s too much to face so the walls come up…but we don’t even look within and see we’re holding the pain and hurt inside.
When was the first time you felt pain? What did you do? Did you feel those feelings or did you shut down and try forget it ever happened? Can you talk about that event without it bringing up any emotions? Can you look back at that memory and see the learning? Can you look back and not hold any resentment? Can you say you’ve forgiven?
“How often do we barricade and fence up our lives against hurt and loss, thinking we’re keeping the painful things out, when they’re already trapped inside us eating at our roots, and what we really need to do is to open the gate and let them out?” – Mark Nepo.