I found myself wandering in a building. While I didn’t see anyone else, I knew there were others with me. The doors appeared locked, as if I was in jail; so I stayed in this place, day after day. No one left, because we believed we couldn’t.
Have you ever had a recurring dream? One that visits you on occasion? I have had a few: feeling confined in a building with “locked” doors was one.
Being stuck in a mental prison impacts our resiliency. It is stressful to think we can never leave our present experience. Whether it is a situation we can’t seem to walk away from, or a relationship that causes pain, there are many ways we can remain “stuck.” Irish poet and philosopher John O’Donohue wrote in his book, Eternal Echoes:
“When personal guilt in relation to a past event becomes a continuous cloud over your life, you are locked in a mental prison. You have become your own jailer. Although you should not erase your responsibility for the past, when you make the past your jailer, you destroy your future. It is such a great moment of liberation when you learn to forgive yourself, let the burden go, and walk out into a new path of promise and possibility. Self-compassion is a wonderful gift to give yourself. You should never reduce the mystery and expanse of your presence to a haunted fixation with something you did or did not do. To learn the art of integrating your faults is to begin a journey of healing on which you will regain your poise and find new creativity. Your soul is more immense than any one moment or event in your past. When you allow guilt to fester and reduce you like this, it has little to do with guilt. The guilt is only an uncomfortable but convenient excuse for your fear of growth.”
One night my dream changed. I walked over to one of the doors, tested it by giving a push. It opened! I could walk right out. I didn’t. Instead, looking around to see if anyone else was seeing the same thing I was…I let it slowly shut once again. It took time for my dream to change, for me to realize I was not locked into the existence I was experiencing, and once realized, I could walk out the door into freedom.
What door do you experience as “locked?” Maybe a relational issue, something going on at work, finances or parenting? What does your doorway look like? Try and give it a push…it may not be locked as you think. In fact, by changing your perception of the situation, life may open up a brand new spacious way of being in the world.
Create the week you want to experience,