Friday, November 8, 2019


     We are all on the border. We are all moving from who we once were and where we have been into the future. That puts us all on a threshold, or border.
     Between being trapped or threatened to being free.
     Between addiction and recovery.
     Between failure and success.
     Between unemployment or underemployment and meaningful work.
     Between being denied and being encouraged.
     Between illness and health.
     Between doubt and death and hope and life.
     Between being a child and growing up, or mature and dying or between death and a spiritual world.
     We are all on a border.

     Crossing borders is never easy or without confrontation. There are always Guardians for that new place we want to go and their job is to challenge us and keep us out if we are not "qualified" to be there.
     The first “guardian” – called the “Lesser Guardian” of the Border" - is ourselves. When we begin considering crossing a border, the first one holding us back or protecting ourselves from taking serious risk is our own doubt, fear and hatred.
     “I doubt I can do this!”, “I’m afraid of what they’re going to do to me!”, or “I hate them for doing this to me!”
     First we must realize that our "problems" at the border are directly related to our likes and dislikes. To overcome this Lesser Guardian of the Border means changing ourselves inwardly. Resolving these three challenges is required before we approach the actual, outer border. The more time we spend exploring what this “guardian” likes, dislikes, and so forth, we learn about ourselves.  Border crossing “problems” are always as a result of ourselves as the problems seems to rise up to meet our shortfalls.
     Next is the Outer Guardian of the Border who is the keeper of the outer “rules” and “regulations” required by the realm which we are seeking to enter - which we are now "foreign" - (national, legal, social, health, etc.) - the Outer Guardian is an “objective” judge who looks you, your background and the situation over with a penetrating sense of discernment and wants you to prove who you are?, why are you here? and what you want?
     This is the next level of confrontation we experience on any border.

About 25 years ago, I tried to go to study at Emerson College in Sussex, England and was confronted by a Outer Guardian of the U.K. Border who looked over my documents and said “No!” to my request for “leave to enter the U.K.” and issued me deportation papers back to the U.S.
     In an instant, my hopes, dreams, self-image, months of preparation, etc. were literally crushed. The problems rose up to meet my great preparation.
There is a “Mission of Stuckness” about which I have read in “Zen And The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”. In these moments when the border has you stuck, you MUST be able to control yourself (your Lesser Guardian) and STOP. Get rid of the past hopes, thoughts, fears, emotions, dreams, plans, EVERYTHING must be crushed in order for you to be able to move into the future in a new way – maybe not your way at all.
In the Gatwick situation, the Guardian of the U.K. border overturned his deportation ruling on appeal.
If you’ve ever had such an experience of being denied at any border: national, employment, health or otherwise; by your own Lesser Guardian or an Outer Guardian, you know that you are thrown back upon yourself and it is a VERY, VERY lonely place.  This also happened to the Christ on Golgotha. As He did, you also may have sent a prayer for help to the unseen powers you hope can help you.
     I wish that all the prayers and silent pleas for help from all who are struggling at any border – inner or outer - could be colorful and visible. That way the rest of us who, for the time being may have some emotional, intellectual or experiential band-width available, might be able to recognize the situation and at least be available to accompany those who feel so alone in their stuckness on the border. This is something we all need from one another.

© Copyright 2014 Jean W. Yeager
All Rights Reserved

No comments:

Post a Comment