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Driving through life we sometimes keep hitting brick walls, fences, medians, buildings, sometimes may be people? The road around the wall may seem too long or we are confident that we are going in the right direction. The big wall in front? Eh, it’s just an obstruction to a shortcut leading to our satisfaction. And stubbornly we ram into that wall, try to break through it, and if we can’t destroy it we will try to climb over it no matter how steep and dangerous it may be. And not once or twice. Numerous times we are hitting the same “wall”. It won’t budge and we won’t give up. Do we consider this wall a barrier that tells us we need to stop or turn the other way, or simply an obstacle that needs to be overcome?

A barrier is a structure or an object that impedes free movement or obstructs access, any condition that makes it difficult to make progress or to achieve an objective, a boundary, or limit. There are internal barriers and external barriers and both somehow end up on our path. Can we distinguish which are stops which prevent disaster and which are obstacles that impede success? More often than not, circumstances that we consider hindering our happiness, satisfaction, enjoyment, and success are warning signals for us about the wall that is ahead. There isn’t some kind of shortcut that is obstructed by this wall. The barriers themselves may help us find the right road, take the right turn, but only if we recognize that these barriers are indeed no obstacle. They try to show us that it is better to not continue going that way, although frequently we rather think that it would be better if this wall wasn’t there. Seldom we view these as necessary barriers that are in place to teach us something. More often we are infuriated and annoyed that they are in our way. Too much time in our life is spent trying to break through these walls, too much emotion wasted on wallowing in despair.

I think instead we should view any barrier as a positive thing. If it’s a stop, it averts menace and much more pain and disappointment. If it’s an obstacle, it helps us become stronger, more resilient, and means we are probably on the right path. Overcoming an obstacle brings peace and satisfaction, while breaking through a barrier often leads to you and others around you getting hurt… When you hit a brick wall, before stubbornly trying to proceed through, ask yourself what it could mean. If you are already breaking the wall, ask yourself what keeps you going? What is the purpose, what drives you? Does life keep throwing you more and more of the same obstacles after you break through one? Do people around you tell you need to stop? Do you inside feel like you are fighting something much bigger than yourself? Perhaps this isn’t an obstacle you need to overcome. May be its something you ought to walk around or even walk past. Dig, analyze, ponder, remember. And move on.

Barriers are an essential part of life; they help keep us from making many mistakes. Mistakes that we may not see or recognize until many years later, when we look back and think how amazing it was that whatever wall you hit prevented you from going down the wrong road. It’s imperative to recognize this. But it’s also important to keep an optimistic and positive point of view. Come to a wall with an open mind and heart, look inside yourself for causes and to God for answers and lessons to be learned. Remember, everything does happen for a reason. We just can’t always see it.

By Irene Manone