Lessons learned among all those iron bars

Prison bars

If you’ve been reading my blog posts for a while then you know that I often find more meaning behind these images than what may first meet the eye.  That is what I love about photography.  This hobby has taught me more surprising things about life, about my self, and helped me work through some of my Stuff.  

Walking around a prison is not my favorite kind of thing to do.  Even though there were places that were creepy and chilling, though, there were also some insights that came to me.  I think the Universe has a way of doing that…showing me things when I least expect it.

All those bars, those barriers, walls of iron meant to keep someone confined.  Claustrophobic.

fancy barriers

Some of those barriers were “prettier” than others, but barriers just the same.

I found myself feeling very grateful that I have not had to live in a place such as this.  

Which lead to the thought that I am free.

And that lead to the thought, the insight, that so much of the time I put my own barriers on my self, set my own limitations… and then believe that it is the truth.

I’ll bet you know just what I’m talking about.  

It is so easy to fall into that trap and say to myself that I’m not able, not worthy, don’t deserve it, or that I have nothing valuable to say, that no one wants to know, that I shouldn’t this and should be or do this.  And you could add more to this list, couldn’t you!

But, you know what? I’m free.  

Simple sounding message, easy to write, easy to say, but is it easy to believe?  No.  

I think we build up our own little prisons in our mind and then throw away the key.  We short change ourselves and put off or even give up on trying to do or be who we really are.  Somewhere along the line we decided that who we are is not enough.

light on the other sideThere is hope.  Because the Universe, or God, or the Source, however you want to name ‘it’, is looking out for us, sending us messages over and over again until we get it.

We are free.  I am free.  Yes, you are, too.

Through that wire mesh, covered with cobwebs and dirt and dust, there is light.   Light that has always been there, deep inside us. We just have to break through that barrier, throw it aside, and fly.


10 Replies to “Lessons learned among all those iron bars”

  1. Thanks for sharing your wisdom and insights, Deb. So many of us do put up our own walls. Yesterday at yoga class, we meditated on the idea that "we have everything we need…… we are good enough just the way we are." Similar ideas — I think the Universe is sending me a message.

  2. This uplifting post brightened my day. We're all so good at this, aren't we, at erecting barriers and putting up obstacles. And yet somehow it often feels as though we're alone in this, that everyone else is soaring up there while we look up from below. A good reminder to cast off doubt and push beyond those limits.

  3. Oh how I love visiting these! If you ever get the chance you must visit the Eastern State Penn in Philadelphia. It is awesome! Great captures!

  4. Oh, YES! YES! YES. This is exactly it…so beautiful, Deb. Thank you for sharing these amazing insights with us. It's always ourselves that put up the barriers/bars…isn't it? Which means it's always us that can break free..

    Here's to breaking free over and over again! Thank you for this, dear Deb.

  5. Great thoughts. I would very much enjoy visiting this location-must be full of emotion and photo opportunities. I notice when review my images, I often will put a barrier of some sort-blocking the view. A fence, a tree limb, even a flower albeit pretty, but still keeping me behind and not in front. Interesting.
    I hear you went walking with Brenda. What an awesome opportunity for both of you. One of the greatest gifts I received thru blogging was the chance to go multiple times with Lee, from Sea Blue Lens. We became not only photography buddies, but friends-sometimes we met and didn't shoot photos at all. I was very sad when she moved to CA. I hope your time together was fun and fruitful.

  6. What a wonderful realization you had and I'm grateful you have shared it with us! It's amazing how many limitations we put upon ourselves without even realizing it.

  7. Deb – first of all, I am enjoying your images so much, the way you captured things that I didn't – your unique version of this location. It is so interesting to see what I missed or interpreted differently. Beautifully captured series.

    But it is the lesson that you took away from this visit that is so profound. I know that I am very good about erecting barriers about what I can or cannot do; making up rules which I then accept as truth; building my own walls that keep me a prisoner. Thank you for the reminder that it doesn't have to be that way.

  8. Oh Deborah – yes, you are so right. It is true that very often we build our own prisons by telling ourselves exactly what you said here. By limiting ourselves. It takes a lot of courage to break out of these self-built prisons, but I also think it would be enormously liberating.

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