The Door Is Unlocked…Do we dare?

We were trapped… my family, friends, and I were all trapped together in a dark, dank dungeon of a medieval castle. There was wailing, howling in fear, tempers flaring, people pushing other people as we all wondered what the future held. Fights broke out among us as one cast blame upon the other for our predicament. Exhausted from being in the middle of the ongoing drama, I decided to explore the cell… looking carefully at each of the bars, the stone walls beyond, the dim light that cast a yellow pall on all of our faces. I pushed gently against the cell door, and a breath went through me… IT WASN’T LOCKED! Is that possible? Has this door been unlocked the entire time?

“We can get out! We can leave! Everyone, this door isn’t locked!” I said. Nobody seemed to be listening. “Please, we don’t have to be here, THE DOOR ISN’T LOCKED!” The fighting continued. Time passed and my beloveds continued to cry, fight, and give up in despair. Nobody would listen. For years I stood at the door of that cell, trying to convince the others, beg them, show them that we could leave. Nothing changed. Then one day, with a heavy heart and extra dose of courage, I said “I have to go”. I was leaving with or without them, and I would leave the door open if anyone wanted to follow. 

I pushed the door to the cell open wide and stepped out into an opening that led to a long, dark hallway. There were 2 guards standing against the wall at the end of the hallway and I thought “this will surely be when I die”. With my heart in my throat, I started walking down the hallway toward the guards. It was the only way out. They were talking, and as I drew closer they looked up briefly, acknowledged me with a nod, and then continued to talk. I walked past them in amazement. They didn’t stop me. They barely even noticed that I had walked by. Why had they been there if not to stop me from leaving? I worked my way up a circular stone stairway in the damp, cold castle. As I got to the top, there were two more guards. “Oh, this was a trick. They let me get this far just to lead me to believe I could be free, and now I will die” The second set of guards nodded, smiled, said nothing, and let me pass. I just had to keep walking. In the distance I saw 2 giant wooden doors. A ray of light peeking through the crack between the doors told me that I had reached the entrance. Do I dare? Do I push these heavy doors open and face whatever lies beyond? Yes. I had to know.

I pushed the doors open with all of my might, and there it was. Before me was a huge, open field of the most beautiful flowers I have ever seen, beaming with color in the sunlight. Above me, billowy white clouds floated effortlessly in a crystalline blue sky, and in the distance giant trees swayed and danced together with their leaves shimmering like tiny diamonds in the breeze. I could breathe. Really breathe. It was exquisite. I was free. 

I could have left at any time. The door was never locked, and the guards never meant to harm me. It was my own fear, my imagination, the rules we had made up together that we were living by, and my not wanting to leave anyone behind in their suffering that kept me in my own personal prison for so many years. 

No, I was never really physically imprisoned with my family and friends, thank God. But mentally, psychologically, and emotionally I was imprisoned with false beliefs, unhealthy family agreements, hard wiring from my childhood, doubts about the possibilities, and decisions I had made long ago that held me back from exploring my full potential. It felt as if I was being held in jail. 

This is the new journey I am embarking on. I am finally ready, still with my heart in my throat at times and legs trembling, to walk past the inner guards of my life and find out what is out there, what is possible, what beauty lies ahead with my hand in God’s hand and my eyes toward the future. I have to find out. Hold my hand, if you want to, and together we’ll begin our adventure and journey toward freedom. I love you!

About Elizabeth Browning

Elizabeth Browning is a filmmaker, actress, director, and one of New York City's most respected acting coaches. Her production company, Joy Light Productions, creates film and television designed to inspire. Elizabeth is also an Area Manager and Independent Consultant with Arbonne International, offering people from all walks of life an opportunity to become financially free while discovering a new path to health, beauty, and overall well being.

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