Breaking Down Barriers


It was my father’s 80th birthday celebration. I am the oldest of three. My sister, the middle child, is our bard.

Like bards of old, she retells our stories, weaving together the threads of our lives from grandparents to siblings and parents, to life-long family friends, highlighting the beauty and bringing perspective, appreciation, and deeper meaning to it all. Last night she told stories of how our father has acted as her champion, highlighting charming moments from elementary school through a recent painful relationship breakup. These stories were new to me, but they reminded me of a distant memory...of a time when our father had been my champion, too. I realized that many years ago, during a deep teen-age depression and subsequent therapy, this changed. In therapy I had been advised to, and successfully created, a wall between myself and my father. It was important at the time in order for me to establish emotional and spiritual independence. But my bardic sister’s stories gifted me with the understanding that I have been holding onto that structure even as it has become a pile of rubble blocking growth and stopping energy from moving and transforming.

Much like the protections we unconsciously erect in childhood to protect ourselves from pain and trauma, this consciously-constructed barrier has outlived its purpose. And today for the first time in 30+ years, I can see and sense it so clearly, so tangibly, thanks to the insight my sister’s tales shed. This barrier has a rigidity, a crusty, stiff-spined tension like a steel rod running through me. At the root is lack of self-trust. I erected that structure to train myself to be more self-reliant. It was meant to be a guide, like those pull-up assist machines at a gym...never relied upon for life. But I mistakenly believed the barrier was my self-reliance, that without it I would crumble, like tomato vine, heavy with fruit, if its stake were removed. That internal, self-imposed barrier, like a crumbling tower, is a ruin that has trapped me, has locked up my life flow and my source connection. I feel it energetically, big blocks of a broken system impeding my progress, weighing me down. It has been worshipped falsely, honored, and treasured, a false god in the temple of me.

My father is 80 and I am 51. Our days together in the physical are numbered. Today I proclaim there will be no more false gods in my temple. I will cast off these crutches. I walk out the prison door. I had the key all along...I just had no idea I was imprisoned.

A new chapter begins today.

I am enough.

I trust myself to know the way.

Your turn

How does this story resonate with you? What has been your experience of releasing limiting structures? What have been the triggers that afforded you the insights to find more freedom in yourself?


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