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  • Penny Muller

Barriers and Limitations

Recognising our power will allow us to break down real and perceived barriers in our lives.

Last week, curiosity pulled me into an old TV series based on some books I've loved since I was a child. It was interesting seeing the characters brought to life, but when the poetic beauty of the books' language and the inner workings of the mind of the lead character were stripped away, the raw realities of the Victorian time period became more apparent. Eventually I stopped watching, because what were considered the normal interactions and priorities of the era were dark and disturbing to me. The lack of empathy for others and particularly for children, was glaring. The guilt and blame and need for revenge that the characters experienced was quite terrifying to me. I wondered whether we had evolved significantly as a species, seeing as these behaviours are less prevalent today, but understanding the author's life and situation fairly well, I was able to build some perspective around the story.

All the characters were experiencing various tyrannies relating to being hemmed in by circumstances beyond their control, and they were bitter and suffering and therefore expelling their frustrations onto those around them. There were expectations of gender and class, and rigid rules governing the trivialities of small town relationships and traditions. Religion brought the terror of death and hell, and lack of modern medicines meant that the threat of death was ever present. Single women were left caring for relatives, married women were trapped in controlling or abusive relationships, children were seen and not heard, and because of lack of understanding, people with now-treatable challenges were hidden away or cruelly locked in asylums. Ideas of contentment or self-expression were dreams or fantasies for the characters, not realities or possibilities. I started to think about the real barriers that people in these societies experienced and how these restrictions affected the way they treated themselves and others. Their inability to express who they were and wanted to be crushed their souls, causing jealousy, blame and even hatred. So, due to their pain, they crushed the spirits of others, especially children, and so the cycle continued.

I also thought about the barriers that we believe exist in our lives and about those that we place around ourselves that hem us in and prevent our growth and joy. Yes, we are in a continual process of breaking down barriers in our society, but I think many of them are now hanging on by a thread. We might need to recognise that many of them are of our own creation, constructed by our fears and inadequacies, and that it is in our power to overcome them. It brought home to me how important it is that we continue to embody all aspects of who we are and what we want to bring to this world. Without this, there is regret, resentment, sadness and grief for loss. Unfortunately, if we see ourselves as powerless, powerlessness will be our experience. However, in expressing the fullness of ourselves we will create anticipation, excitement, purpose and joy. We are not at the mercy of the world or of anything or anyone in it. Imagine if we could see ourselves as the intelligent creators of our lives that we are. If we could only accept that we are fully responsible for everything that we experience, the barriers would become less apparent. Responsibility for our experience is not a negative concept. It's not a burden. It is a superpower that we have at our disposal if only we can see it. It means infinite possibility. It is something to embrace with all our hearts.

We have been taught that our logical mind is the source of wisdom that we can most trust. I believe that we have been misinformed. We need to think less and feel more, to explore a heart-based perspective. What do I feel that I want to experience? What do I feel that I want to express? What am I excited to share? How does it feel when I experience this? Barriers of the perceived judgement of others are not real barriers. Where there is judgement, there is fear, yours and theirs. Perhaps you are here to step into that fear and in doing so, overcome it. It's time to tune in to what feels right for us, what is easy, and what is joyful. In past eras, everyone was trapped, so everyone was looking. Now we are all free and busy pursuing our own fulfillment, so nobody is looking. There is no need to feel restricted. Imagine how much love and ease there would be in the world if we were all joyful, feeling, creative expressers.

If you feel a calling to go full out into the world and break down barriers, go for it. It is part of your creative purpose. I really enjoyed Michelle Obama's book, 'Becoming'. This is a woman who believes that for barriers to be removed, all types of people need to have a seat at the table. So she seated herself at the table, many times, and those dominating the environments in which she placed herself had no choice but to make room for her. The change that happens through intention and dignity and courage is far more powerful than that created by anger, force or violence. We lead by our example. And, men who enter female-dominated arenas are equally courageous. I met some wonderful men when I worked with young children, and they were much needed and valued there.

If you don't feel a calling to break down barriers in society, you can break down barriers within yourself. Speak your truth, even if it is only to those in your intimate surroundings. Write, draw, paint, perform, heal, design, construct, discuss. Start doing whatever you were called to do in this lifetime. Transitioning from the feeling that life is happening to you to the understanding that you are happening to life is a journey that might take some time, but it is a journey that is worth taking. I believe that it's the only way to satisfaction. The realisation that the experience you are having has been deliberately created through your beliefs, desires and intentions is so much more pleasurable than managing those unwanted experiences that appear to just turn up in your reality. But, it won't come from logic. It will come from your heart space. It will come from love. Love yourself enough to let yourself free and to watch yourself soar. When this happens, love for others will be effortless and you will become a magnet for the love of others. This is the ultimate gift to yourself and to the world. Allow yourself to take part in the world's evolution. Step into who you are. There are no barriers.


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