Many, many of the conversations I’ve been having lately touch on the “idea” that we are currently feeling or have felt trapped at certain times this year. I’m finding this especially interesting since I, too, have felt trapped so many times in my life. I’m convinced we all recreate the prisons of our programming and circumstances from earlier in our lives.

I know I’m not alone here. 

Recently I was having a deep conversation with a very close friend who said,”I felt like I was in a prison growing up. And then I kept myself in that prison long after my childhood.”

There is comfort in that prison. Comfort being familiarity and certainty. No matter how fucked up things might seem if they stay the same they have some sense of order to us. Since this is the case, staying the same is doing what’s easy, it’s staying in the “known” rather than the unknown. It feels like hell but it’s the devil we know. It’s familiar and we’re strung out on that stuff. We fear that disorder and can spend our lives avoiding it.

You might not like hearing this but you are 99% responsible for your life (give or take one percentage). “Having is evidence of wanting.” I’m going to argue with you here and say that it’s also evidence of “liking”. When we’re in a that prison you can act like you don’t like it but there’s a part of you that absolutely loves it. You must love it or you wouldn’t do it. 

There is a gap of varying size between what you actually have to do and what you’ve convinced yourself you have to do but don’t. Listen to me, you don’t have to do a ton of shit you think you do. At times, I bring things into my life even when they’re not even close to being that way or a huge stretch at best. But I bring it and I make it fit. I make myself stupid, unlovable, and ridiculous. People around me are like,”Where the hell did that come from?”

I don’t know what prison you live in but we all have a some version of a few similar ones. I’m not lovable. Shame. The world is out to get me. Everyone wants to make me wrong. Convinced something is wrong with you. Locked away and denied access to parts of ourselves. Locked out of happiness. Locked out of love. Locked out of success. Locked out of the mature, powerful, bold, and brilliant parts of us.

If you can hear me out… our reality and mapping system with how we view ourselves, others, and the world is a container. That container can very well be a prison of limitations. Our mind is where any of us are ever actually captive. We lose sight of what’s possible and choose to see only our limitations and containment. 

Nelson Mandela eloquently said himself, “As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”

So many of us are medicating ourselves into being a zombie so that we stay asleep and can’t find the freedom that another part of us is clawing and yearning for. Medication being a loose term but some form of distraction. You know what you do.

I don’t know how the world is going to unfold with COVID, lockdown, and quarantine situations that are still to come. The end of this year and the beginning of the next one in some ways is fairly arbitrary. I do know this, the prison you’re in is optional. The change in the year, the season, or whatever pivot you need to utilize to shift things for yourself is now, do it and do it as often as is needed to make it a habit.

My great hope for you this year is to keep mining for the gold to find out who you are and then fight to be who you’ve discovered you are. That’s how we escape and don’t go back.

The opportunity:

What makes us free?

Who do you need to forgive or have compassion for in order to set yourself free?(Maybe yourself?)

What are the cues that show that you’ve put yourself back in a prison?

How does your life feel when you’re free and powerful?

Thanks for your time, have a great day!