Thursday, January 29, 2015

Barriers - Blow them up!

Working on a project in my office today and was searching for some music to keep me engaged. I recently came across (again) Tiny Desk Concerts from NPR. While looking through the offerings I ran across Macklemore with the song "Same Love", which from the first day I heard it on the radio in Seattle struck a cord in me.

The word BARRIER as defined by the Oxford Dictionary: "A fence or other obstacle that prevent movement or access." Additionally, the origin of the word is from late middle English, denoting a palisade or fortification of an entrance.

I realise that I also feed into the stereotypes I grew up with, like boys don't..... or only girls do....  I now understand that those stereotypes were just a BARRIER to acceptance and letting people stagnate in not challenging their own believes they either grew up with or developed over time. Boys Don't Cry, only girls wear dresses-makeup - nail polish, boys don't show their emotions, boys play with guys not with their own penises (I was admonished by my step father busting into MY bedroom unannounced insisting this was a learned behavior. I still suffer with some of these puritanical believes about self love), boys are only supposed to fuck girls (never introduced to making love, because love wasn't present in my house growing up), parents are supposed to fight with each other often - loud and violently enough to break my mom's shoulder (this was less than 2 yrs into their marriage), it's ok for men to get shit faced as a coping mechanism to deal with their issues (then take their emotions - which they clearly have - out on their wives and small children) because they are too weak to look inside, Blacks are X, Mexicans are X, gays are X and realize they need help and these stereotypes go on and on because of the disinterest to break down a BARRIER. I have lived with lies most of my life both as a child and some of my adult life as well.

As an adult I have chosen to break the chains of my past, but what I didn't realise until recently is that I am chained by others. The lies that were hidden because BARRIERs had to stay up to keep people safe. By caring what people close to me think, I allowed myself to be bound to their beliefs and lies (sometimes under the disguise that the lies are "cultural")  as a way to get closer. What really happened is the bondage just constrained me and the BARRIER that was between us was still there but now I was stuck. The BARRIER is still there but my chains have been loosened and will soon be finally cut. Now it's up to me to continue to break down the BARRIERs I have put up, others have taught me to have, and the one's society has told me should be there.

What BARRIERs have you allowed to be put up? What BARRIERs have you put up for yourself? How do they serve you (if they didn't serve you in a positive/negative way they wouldn't still be there)?

Maybe it's easier to just keep bound up and keep the BARRIER in place. I understand, for many years I choose for that to be my truth. Is that who you really want to be?


At 12:30 PM, Anonymous Derrick said...

Thank you sir, and well done. I hate any sort of generalization and defy those I come across. I've only recently discovered a rebelliousness in my nature and I love how it stirs within me, and hopefully I can learn to stir it in others!

*throws fist into the air


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