February 26

Today's quotation:

Before I built a wall, I'd ask to know what I was walling in or walling out.

Robert Frost

Today's Meditation:

Most of us have walls built up in our lives, mostly because we think that they'll protect us and keep us from harm.  If we don't stop to think of what we're keeping in or out, though, there's a good chance that the walls we've built will end up harming us more than helping us.

I used to keep people at a distance behind my walls because I had a great fear of rejection.  While my walls did keep me from feeling the sting of rejection, though, they also kept people from showing me affection, from being my friends, from feeling any sort of closeness to me at all.  My walls ended up keeping me isolated and lonely, all because I thought I was protecting myself.

And what was I keeping in at the same time?  Well, I was still feeling my isolation and loneliness, and I was continuing to hold on to my fears.  They weren't able to get out of the walls that I had built so high, so I had to keep them inside there with me!  The walls that I thought were so useful actually were the most destructive part of my life, and it took me a very long time to tear them down.

Be slow to build walls.  Be slow to build fences that will keep neighbors out.  While the walls and fences may serve some important functions--and some walls are absolutely necessary--they also have residual effects that we may not consider before we build them.

Questions to consider:

Why do we build walls?  Who teaches us--by example--that they're a good idea?  Are those teachers happy themselves?

How hard is it to tear walls down once they're built?

When are walls effective?  When are they destructive?

For further thought:

Some people build their walls so thick no one ever gets to know the real person inside.  This is often their reason for doing so:  ďIf you really knew what Iím like inside, you wouldnít care for me.Ē  Letís come out from behind our masks and dare to change.  We donít need to be fenced in by our failures of the past; we need to step out into the fields of future potential.

Florence Littauer



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