||Gifts of the Soul
A Quarterly Column
|by Laura Grace
Gifts of the Soul
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
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
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
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
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
© Copyright 2005
Laura Grace. All Rights Reserved.
Read Laura's Past Columns:
2005 - "Witnessing the Truth About Your Life"
2004 - "Letting Go"
2004 - "Progressing with Passion"
2004 - "Deepening Your Spiritual Practice"
2004 - "Life's Crossroads: Love-vs-Fear"
January-February 2004 - "Faith the Foundation for Every
2003 Column - "Touching the Heart of Others"
2003 Column - "Knowing How to Care for Yourself"
2003 Column - "Dreaming a Happy Life"
2003 Column - "Living the Authentic Life"
2003 Column - "Rising Above the Battleground"
2003 Column - "Healing Through Your
2003 Column - "Are You Going with the Flow?"
2003 Column - "Living the Soulful Life"
2002 Column - "The Power to Change"
2002 Column - "Peace Begins at Home"
Column - "Spiraling to Higher Ground"
September 2002 Column - "Cradled in Nature's
August 2002 Column - "Recovering
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:
As a spiritual counselor, Laura provides assistance in person and by phone. You may contact her for a free brochure at: