Recognize the mental cages...
"Who gave OTHERS the right to decide what you can do?"
Remember that time in life, as a teenager, when we all had this rebellious trait ? What happened to it as we grew up?
Where is that free spirit - spirit that wanted to soar like an eagle ?
Have we all turned into rodents now - scurrying about, navigating mazes that OTHERS have designed for us? Think this is the rant of the unsuccessful ones? Think the so called 'successful ones' in life are totally free of cages and mazes?
No - I firmly believe that we ALL have potential to do much much more. We can fly as high as Icarus did but we have, in some form or other, adopted CAGES of some sort.
As I saw this Tawny eagle perched high up in an electricity tower, looking like a caged bird, I wondered why it had chosen that cagey structure instead of soaring high.
I took this picture with my Nikon P900 camera near my hometown in India last month. The thoughts of eagles and cages have not left my mind for long after that.
Just look at this magnificent creation of nature. Those strong mighty wings are designed to allow the eagle to fly so high that even Jet planes will feel dwarfed by the ability.
We, the humans do not have such wings, nor do we have razor sharp talons. We have something unique - we have an ability to be creative and solve complex problems to keep moving forward. We have the ability to envision great things and go after them to achieve them.
Those are our wings. Wings that every one of us is born with. Each individual on this vast earth has this gift of abilities that need to be leveraged to fly high.
Most of us though, choose, yes - choose, consciously or sub-consciously, to be caged instead of reaching the stratosphere.
My cage - I have given others power over my life
Thinking about the caged eagle and introspecting, I realized that I have let many things in the world dictate how I live my life. I have discarded many things that I felt passionate about. I have been unhappily doing things that made me feel and look successful! I have let others build cages that I have adopted one after another.
My first cage was - Being successful cage. Getting a good home, getting a good job, getting married ... All the 'socially accepted' norms. I am not saying that I did not enjoy some of it. The cages feel comfortable too - don't they !! However, left to myself, I could probably have been happier - following some of the passions that I have- computers, photography and reading... Did I even devote 10% of my time for my passion? Likely not.
There was a succession of cages then. Successful parenting, successful leadership, successful this and that.... The visions of what others considered 'success' built those cages and I gladly moved in!
Then, there came a time of realization when I decided - enough of these cages and I moved out of the job and adopted to a different lifestyle. This feel great I thought. I am free... Could I really fly though?
When I tried, I found that all I had done is moved to a larger cage. This is a cage that most of humanity lives in!
The cage of 'What others will think' !
When we let go of cages we put around ourselves, based on 'visions of success', the ultimate cage comes in to play. This is where we start fearing 'What will others think - what will they say'. It is hard to believe but this is true.
Think of all those time when all you wanted to do was to relax at home instead of attending church - Oh NO! "What will others think" made you go - didn't it?
Think of those boring speeches you had to endure in various functions. You felt many times like getting up and stretching your body. Did you do it even once - Oh NO! "What will others think"...
If these simple things can not be done by us then forget about being totally free and soaring high.
We have given over the control to all the bystanders, rubber-neckers and picture takers and let them dictate what we should or should not be doing.
How to break free ?
If we honestly analyse the underlying factor in all the cages - be it your personal cage of perfection or cage of procrastination or cage of social norms - we will find that the basis of all these cages is FEAR.
The fear of unknown. Fear of losing our comfort. Fear of opinions. Fear of being alone...
We need to stretch ourselves and think beyond this ring of fear and laugh in the face of it.
Breaking free is not easy but we can train ourselves to do it. We need to look at the point in life where we are standing and think "Am I going to let the rest of my life too be like this - without utilizing my true gifts and following my true passions".
We have to think " When I am on my deathbed - am I going to be happy to say - I DID SOAR HIGH. Perhaps I singed my wings a bit but I DID SOAR HIGH" and die with a smile on our lips?
I am seriously trying to conquer some of my fears and break free. Unfortunately, one of the fears I have managed to conquer and break free is the fear of expressing myself. Therefore, you all are being subjected to these long-winded sermons. You need to break free of the addition to read them - STOP loving this torture!!!
Free the Eagle in you - even the most comfortable cage is still a cage!!
Steemians, please comment freely to share your experiences, knowledge and views about your own cages. Thanks.
Note: All images except for the wildlife photos and the title image created by me are from pixabay.com. Image credit has been specifically mentioned for images not falling under these two categories.
Gif crafted by the Legendary @stellabelle for me based on my Lion Avatar