Protection or prison?

photo: Gyon van Dam

We all do it; we have a bad experience, and put up a wall to protect us.

And then, the wall stays and we forget that we put him there in the first place. We live with it, and it becomes a prison. Forgotten but still erect. And we’re so used to its existence, that “as a bird born in a cage, we think flying is an illness” (Alejandro Jodorowsky).

But how do we bring that wall tumbling down?  For me it works this way, in four steps:

First of all, I become aware of a topic I feel sore about, and have felt sore about a long time.

The emotions I feel about the subject, and have every time I think about it, are always the same. Like a copy/paste thing. It’s my brain repeating the same story. And those are in fact the stones that build the wall. That’s the second step, becoming conscious about them.

The third one is the most complicated; trying to gather new perspectives. Sometimes it happens spontaneously, out of empathy with the person/situation I banished behind the wall, but more often I need  feedback from others. I ask them to help me find another version of the story, and to turn negativity into positivity. Not necessarily exactly the same topic, but as a transformation.  An example: I could write a book about my bad experiences in the music-scene as a professional musician, but I can also choose to be proud instead, that I have always stayed true to myself, in a difficult environment. (thank you, dear friend who gave me this insight)

And, in the end, how do those stones come tumbling down? That’s step four, letting go, forgiveness Forgiving the other(s), or forgiving yourself, will set you free!