I’m surrounded by paper walls.
These aren’t the walls in my home or office. Ironically, those walls somehow feel more permeable… and safe.
Instead, other more invasive walls surround me. And constrain me. These are the paper walls of my mind. I know they’re there, for on the other side of them are the things I long to create—but don’t.
We’ve all heard of paper tigers; those things that threaten us but have no potency. Paper tigers are the people or situations that are all bark, no bite. (If you’ll allow the image of a barking tiger.)
Paper tigers don’t have anything on paper walls though. Tigers appear ferocious. Walls don’t appear at all. They fade into the background, quietly channeling our daily movements. We may not even be aware of their presence. Worse, we may unwitting erect them in our desire to be liked by another. Or to feel needed. Or important. Or busy.
Paper walls are those things that distract us from the thing we were made to create. Their sole purpose is to cover over our dream, making our house more presentable—more ordered—than it really is.
To be sure, paper walls, like paper tigers, are thin. But they powerfully guide my path. Every time I turn aside from engaging in a creative project to do a lesser thing—perhaps to check email once again—I’m constrained by paper walls. Every time I think I don’t have what it takes, paper walls divert me from diving in anyway. And every time I mindlessly just do what’s next, without carving out time to think, plan and pray, paper thin walls direct my course.
There is no doubt. I’m surrounded by paper walls. But what I am meant to create—and what you are meant to create—is far too important to be channeled by paper thin distractions.
Comment below: What are some of the paper walls that may be keeping you from what you were meant to create?