We Are Our Own Prisoners

A few days ago I read an interesting comment from a  friend of mine discussing personal healing and growth. He wrote: “On the way of healing, I found my prison. Some time ago I asked myself why I was not able to do some important things to reach a happy life. With the help of my journal, I discovered my weaknesses and my shortcomings, and the hundreds of things I could improve in my life. I used to compare myself to others and I used to ask myself ‘why am I not like him or her?’ or ‘why don’t I have her talent or his ability?’ Then I changed my focus to others rather than me and I discovered their strengths and weaknesses. Like me, others fall on the same weaknesses and shortcomings. I finally understood to be a prisoner of my own personality. I understood that I am not completely free. I am a prisoner and I found out that many individuals around me were and are prisoners too. The only difference is that, most of the time, they don’t know it. Sometime I am able  to get out of the prison with the help of spiritual means, such as meditation, prayer, and fasting. I then enter a different dimension. All seems different: people, problems, the very vision of life, the ability to do more.”

How profound! I was touched by these words and recognized myself in them. Many times I feel trapped: by circumstances, or common places, or the false sense of security of familiar ebbs and flows of life. One of my favourite authors, Brazilian writer Paulo Coehlo, has written a few books on this very topic. He once took a pilgrimage to the sanctuary of Santiago de Compostella in Spain. The destination was breathtaking, but the journey was the most important part of this life changing experience for him. We do not need to take a pilgrimage to a physical location to be pilgrims in the  journey of life. However, once in a while, we need to step back to clearly see. And yes, this is a journey we need to take alone.

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