Tearing Down the Fences

No matter how much protection we think we need or how high we build our fences, life has a way of tearing them down and disarming us. When the barriers are removed and we’re feeling vulnerable, our hearts are most open.

All differences, whether physical, mental, or emotional, are superficial. They keep us from recognizing how much we have in common – starting with the undeniable fact that we’re all alive and breathing the same air. Breathing in. Breathing out. Hearts expanding with love and contracting with fear. Is there anything we’re experiencing right now that hasn’t been experienced by innumerable others?

When we look in another person’s eyes, we’ll find a human who is tender and vulnerable, one who pursues security, happiness, and love. We’ll find someone who is capable of great, selfless compassion and one who can be terribly self-centered. We’ll find someone who has been hurt and who, in turn, has hurt others. We’ll see a hypocrite, a child, an orphan, a warrior, a hero. We’ll find someone who wants more love. And if we look deeply into another person’s eyes, we’ll see that person’s soul. The we’ll discover that it’s our own true nature to have an open heart, as much as it’s the true nature of a flower to open up in the sunlight.

When the fences are there, I think of being a bird perched on a roof, wings tucked in at my side. Then I remember that no bird can fly without opening its wings and we cannot love without exposing our heart. When the fences are removed and we reveal what we hide, the tender things become our wings.


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