A Self-made Cage
It’s a chore I truly detest, cleaning out the garage. There are tubs for everything from holiday decorations to party supplies to memories we look at once every decade or so. Tools are stored out there that I never use, old paint that’s probably gone very bad, yard tools, a weight bench and the 8-year old’s excess toys and games. You would think it would remain clean and sorted out, but it never does, and before I can put anything else inside, I am forced to clean it out and reorganize it. The garage becomes a disaster zone because I hate doing what should have been done to keep it from becoming such a mess in the first place.
The dreaded chore begins with me pulling storage tubs away from the wall so that I can put all of the holiday containers back in place. I’m not paying much attention to what I’m doing, which isn’t unusual when it comes to manual labor and me. I quite typically just go about a task while my mind is lost in some scene Rhychard has to face in my Warrior of the Way series. My arms are flinging boxes while in my mind my character is battling dark elves. I mean, it shouldn’t take much concentration to move storage tubs around, right?
Then my phone rings. I search my pockets, but it’s not there, which will surprise the girls because I carry my phone around more than I do my wallet and just less than my pad and pen. The notebook and pen were on me, however. The phone is over on the freezer, which is on the other side of my wall of tubs. Actually, it’s three walls of tubs surrounding me. You see, in my effort to clear the containers from the wall I caged myself in, forgetting to leave myself a path in order to make those quick bathroom runs or coffee refills. I trapped myself. There was nowhere to go.
I’ve seen people do this with their life. They began to define things, such as relationships or what a family is, with absolutes, and soon they have built a cage of their own design around themselves and have nowhere left to go. Some, however, don’t build cages with bars which would allow them to see out, at least. They build solid walls without windows and block their minds and hearts from being able to see anything except their definition. Their close-mindedness is like a steel trap that turns their views into a carnage of broken relationships. Families become split because they cannot open their minds to a homosexual child. Someone dares to live outside the box and shatter the planned outline they were expected to follow and friendships are shattered. People wall themselves away from other great people because they cannot release their definitions of family, marriage, and relationships and animosity grows and hate crime increases. The cage is not a bubble of safety, but a prison where the captive serves anger and bitterness.
You can do this with your dreams, as well. Building a cage around your future that traps you on a path you can’t escape. You start defining your future with absolutes which don’t allow for those forks in the road that pop up from time to time or the unexpected opportunity that may take you in an even better direction. The more definitions you carve in stone, the narrower your path becomes into a wide open future. That is why I write my goals in pencil. Life demands flexibility.
I am not saying there are no absolutes. A cat is always a cat. However, there is enough leeway in that definition for a cat to be a lion or panther or even a house cat. A marriage is a relationship between committed people. Yet, that can be a man or woman, two men, two women, or multiples of each. I’m a writer because I create with words, but I write fantasy, erotica, essays and drama. The tighter you make the definition of something, the less opportunity for growth and experiencing new things. Don’t allow yourself to be a prisoner of your own cage. Open your mind and heart to see the beauty and wonder of diversity and life. Allow yourself room to embrace the world in a whole new vision of acceptance as well as a greater exploration of your dreams. Life behind walls may be safe, but it’s not as enjoyable as the wide open spaces. Unlock the cage and release your potential.
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