“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” ~ Jalal ad-Din Rumi
We often speak of love curing all ails. I believe that. Most people believe it on a core level. I also believe that we externalize love and expect others to fill our emptiness with unconditional love. I believe that self-love can cure our success ails, the barriers to entering our personal success chapter. If we are practical about achieving personal success and getting love, as we might be about money, gas in our car and food on the table, we might realize that we must first love ourselves if we wish to receive love, or reach our goals and achieve personal success.
I could go into detail about my theory on physical ailments and their emotional and metaphysical causes, but instead I’ll float an idea: if the mind and body are connected, then it is also possible that our thinking could make us sick, make our bodies rebel and turn on us. Along those lines, we could also say that negative thinking blocks us from success because we’ve built barriers, seemingly to protect ourselves.
Sometimes negative thinking is sneaky. I perceive myself a positive thinker, yet when I started writing morning pages, I found that negativity still creeps in to my thoughts. I realize that some of my hang-ups still exist because of the subtle messages my inner critic continues to send – the same soundtrack since childhood. This negativity fortifies the barriers we’ve built around our personal success chapter.
“In theories of competition in economics, barriers to entry are obstacles that make it difficult to enter a given market. The term can refer to hindrances a firm faces in trying to enter a market or industry…or those an individual faces in trying to gain entrance to a profession…
Because barriers to entry protect incumbent firms and restrict competition in a market, they can contribute to distortionary prices. The existence of monopolies or market power is often aided by barriers to entry.”
I’m especially drawn to the second paragraph referring to distortionary prices. When we build barriers around ourselves – around our thinking, around our hearts – we create distortion. Not only do we distort our view of reality and ourselves, we also create insurmountable barriers to entry. We create these barriers with our own thinking, either from old messages or with our thought patterns.
Every thought has an origin. Positive, negative, judgmental, kind or loving, there is a reason we think the way we do. For purposes of this blog entry, I will stick to finding the thought patterns that have fortified the barriers we build that prevent us from entering our personal success chapter. Last entry I wrote about tolerances, which is different from barriers or roadblocks. Tolerances are things we put up with that etch-away at our potential for success. Barriers block us from making any meaningful progress toward it.
Think about one of your struggles. Perhaps writer’s block, or you struggle with upward mobility in your career. Maybe you have yet to find a long-term, fulfilling relationship. Perhaps you struggle with managing your finances. Whatever it is, your big struggle is probably caused by a barrier, or a roadblock. If you would like to change that and move onward and upward, then consider accepting this: life is a process, a forward progression. We are not meant to move in reverse or manage indefinitely in survival mode. We are meant to move forward and live life, and the only way to do that is to change our thinking toward the positive outcome we seek. Now, get ready to do the work.
You may or may not reach a conclusion about where the barrier(s) originated, but you can focus your energy on changing the thought patterns that reinforce the beliefs that built the barriers. Keeping with my simplicity is key approach, let me break it down for you into a few steps that might not be easy, but will get you over the hump if you really want to get there.
First, ask yourself what you really want from life. Write it out, be honest and clear, and focus on the big picture. Try not to be too detailed, but think in broad terms. For example, if you are focusing on a romantic relationship, you might write, “I seek a partner who is open, caring and interested in a long-lasting, supportive relationship. He/she is courageous, strong and willing to risk heartbreak to meet a wonderful person like me.” Think of it as a personal ad for those who seek something beyond long walks on the beach at sunset.
Next, think over your past relationships and see if you can recognize a pattern and focus on changing it. Begin by becoming aware of the pattern. Once aware, visualize the pattern coming un-done and vanishing, like a sandcastle when the waves wash over it (since we are on a beach theme.) You don’t need it anymore. It does not contribute to your overall well-being.
Finally, focus on what you want from a relationship and the feeling you would like to experience with this person. Keep in mind that you will attract the right relationship when you have sought, found and eliminated the barriers to entry. This is your job. You must focus on creating an environment conducive to what you seek. You can begin by changing your thought patterns.
It takes a focused, mindful approach to achieve your goals, whatever they are. If you take a mindful, positive approach and visualize that which you seek, you will succeed – you will find it. I wish you the best on your journey as you overcome obstacles that hinder you from what you seek. You have the power to change your life, and if you harness that power, you will be amazed at what you can do.
Blessings. Gratitude. Love.