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Laura V. Hyde Gifts of the Soul
A Quarterly Column
April-June 2005
by Laura Grace

Gifts of the Soul by Laura Hyde
Gifts of the Soul

Imaginary Borders

We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another. 
--Luciano de Crescenzo

"Hope springs eternal" is one of my favorite sayings. For "spring" and "hope" are synonymous to me. Spring, symbolizing new growth and starting anew, gives us a sense of hopefulness, that today is a brand new day in which we can start all over again if we choose. Spring is also an excellent time to do some "internal spring cleaning"--to replace the thoughts, beliefs and attitudes that no longer serve us with ones that nurture and support our soul.

Recently, I attended an interesting lecture on the topic of borders that triggered some areas in my own mind and heart that are in need of "cleaning." The presentation covered the physical borders we’ve created to stop others from entering the U.S. Much of the discussion involved the massive "triple wall" erected between San Diego and Mexico, a border referred to as "America’s Berlin Wall." Some misconceived perceptions were addressed including the fact that most people do not want to leave their homeland, especially if they are poor. I found it very interesting that although as Americans we feel we have the right to keep Mexicans out, ironically, up until 1846, the very land being restricted belonged to Mexico!

Physical borders manifest as a result of the emotional and psychological borders we possess. While listening to the lecture on all of the borders constructed to keep people out of our country, I couldn’t help but think about the borders each of us erects to keep others out of our heart. It continues to amaze me how many of us live next door to people we barely know. A man attending the lecture shared how he has lived in the same neighborhood for twenty years but has not even met some of his neighbors!

As I listened to the impassioned speech about physical borders, I became painfully aware of some of the borders I have assembled in a few areas of my own life. In my mind’s eye, I saw a wall of cement bricks, as tall as me. I felt how it kept others at arm’s length and created a "safe" distance. Behind this wall I felt comfortable, yet somewhat isolated from those around me. "Where did these borders come from?" I wondered, and, "What purpose do they serve?"

Borders originate from our thoughts and beliefs and within our hearts and minds. Borders become impassable as we buy into the illusion that we are separate from each other. Borders cause misery, hopelessness, misunderstanding and anger. Borders are caused by fear. Borders include ethnicity, race, religion, age, gender, status, sexual preference, geographical location, education, and so forth. The ego is akin to "border patrol" and it takes glee in manufacturing lots and lots of borders. Why? Because it is terrified of unity, oneness and love. Even the body, itself, is a type of border that heightens our belief in separation and need for protection.

The good news is, borders are only imaginary. Like shadows on a wall, they are merely an illusion and can be eradicated by heartfelt hospitality. To be hospitable means to extend warmth, kindness, and generosity, to literally and figuratively open our home. And since "home" is where the heart is, it is only as we open our hearts to others that we feel at home with ourselves.

Take a moment to ask yourself the following questions:

What borders do I have? With who and what? What does the border look like? How do I feel being behind it? What might I be afraid of? How do I think the other(s) might feel being on the other side of my border? How could I begin taking it down?

Reaching out to others gradually and gently removes the walls we have carefully built throughout a lifetime. As we practice the art of hospitality, of non-judgment and love without conditions, we erase borders that may have confined us for many, many years. Take some time this spring to nurture your soul and heart. Practice taking down the borders that keep you separate from others. For although we may imprison ourselves with imaginary borders, the invitation to experience connection--with others and our greater Self--always awaits us.

© Copyright 2005 Laura Grace. All Rights Reserved.

 Laura's Books:

Gifts of the Soul by Laura Grace              The Intimate Soul by Laura Hyde

Read Laura's Past Columns:

January-March 2005 - "Witnessing the Truth About Your Life"

October-December 2004 - "Letting Go"

August-September 2004 - "Progressing with Passion"

June-July 2004 - "Deepening Your Spiritual Practice"

April-May 2004 - "Life's Crossroads: Love-vs-Fear"

January-February 2004 - "Faith the Foundation for Every Dream"

December 2003 Column - "Touching the Heart of Others"

November 2003 Column - "Knowing How to Care for Yourself"

October 2003 Column - "Dreaming a Happy Life"

May 2003 Column - "Living the Authentic Life"

April 2003 Column - "Rising Above the Battleground"

March  2003 Column - "Healing Through Your Relationships"

February 2003 Column - "Are You Going with the Flow?"

January 2003 Column - "Living the Soulful Life"

December 2002 Column - "The Power to Change"

November 2002 Column - "Peace Begins at Home"

October 2002 Column - "Spiraling to Higher Ground"

September 2002 Column - "Cradled in Nature's Arms"

August 2002 Column - "Recovering Your Soul"

Laura V. Hyde
Laura Grace
is Co-founder of Infinite Wisdom, an organization dedicated to the highest human capacity, and a national author and speaker. She is also host of the TV show "Relationship Wisdom." As a regular contributor for publications across the U.S. and Canada, Laura writes about human awareness and spiritual growth. Laura is the author of the widely acclaimed books The Intimate Soul and Gifts of the Soul, and the creator and teacher of various programs including the Self-Mastery Program, The Art of Compassionate Forgiveness, Wonderful Women: Reclaiming Our Power, Passion and Purpose, and Cultivating the Intimate Life. Please visit Laura's web site at: www.LauraGrace.net.

As a spiritual counselor, Laura provides assistance in person and by phone. You may contact her for a free brochure at: laura@lauragrace.net.





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