Monday, October 4, 2010

Living Outside of the Box

There is a well known analogy that I've really embraced lately as I try to explain to my friends what the underlying reason is for taking such a bold step and changing my life all around.  The "Box" analogy basically comes down to acknowledging that for my entire life, just like everyone else, I absorbed messages, ideas, and standards that created strict guidelines for how I am "supposed" to live my life and who I am "supposed" to be.  I got these perimeters from my parents, peers, pop culture, and other influences that shaped my own perception and created my reality.  (In a book I once read it was called "domestication")  Over time they became a part of me and shaped everything in my life- career pursuit, relationships, image, you name it.  I thought I knew exactly what I wanted out of life and who I wanted to be, but never took the time to figure out why I seemed to want that.  The walls of the box started closing in more and more over time, when I was achieving these hard and fast goals, being who I thought I was "supposed" to be, yet not finding much satisfaction from any of it.  Seeing that there were walls was tough enough.  Breaking through the walls is even harder because it meant changing certain elements of who I have worked hard to be in return for an unknown world that lies beyond the walls of my box. 

Well I did it anyway, and what I learned was that there is still plenty of ground under my feet outside of the box to walk on.  The air is cleaner, not polluted by mental and emotional toxins.  I can see things much clearer now and possibilities for how to live life seem endless as opposed to before.  I'm no longer restricted by rules I created for myself and I can chase any dream I desire.  Of course, it's nice to go back to the box once and a while, experience the comfort of it, reminisce about the good elements of the past, take advantage of lessons I learned and skills I developed.  But the box is now open and aired out and I'll never build up walls around myself again.  Breaking the walls brought in too much light and I'm way to happy living outside of the box to ever close off to it again.

It's massively liberating to know that you control your own reality and no matter what the situation, everyone can afford to at least poke some holes in the walls of their box and let in a little sunshine with hopes that one day you will have the courage to step out of those rules and see that there are so many more possibilities and endless happiness that living inside the box could ever provide.

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