From the moment we are conceived, we are encased. The womb is like a nest—it keeps us safe as we grow and become. But there is nowhere that we can go but within the womb. We are trapped. Yet it is a good sort of trapped. Like when you haven’t seen a best friend who’s really touchy for a long time and when you do, they won’t let go. You are held within a warm embrace that is perhaps a bit uncomfortable, but you know you can relax and still be protected. And although this is wonderful, there is still an itch trembling along your body to be free and move and let the wind ripple through your hair once again.
It is like this in the womb. A baby is fed, protected, and can grow and be nurtured for nine months. It’s as if they’re suspended in space, connected by a single lifeline, and just waiting for the day they will land. The cares of the world pass them by. But this isn’t enough. They must feel freedom soon. So they begin kicking—yearning for a way to breathe air and feel the grass and see their mother’s face.
Then the day comes—we land. We become more and more who we are meant to be. But as we grow, we quickly learn that there are rules. There are expectations. There are things put on us—chains, iron bars, a square box. Our thinking is limited. Our expression is limited. Our speech is limited. Our creativity is limited. And we spend our life either sitting in a corner of this box, keeping to ourselves and conforming to the standards that society had placed upon our already weary and bent shoulders; or we spend it running around the box, reaching through the bars, and yelling and kicking and screaming…vying for an opening of time—just a wee little slot of sunshine for our burdened souls to bask in.
But because we’ve been conditioned to live in these cages for so long, this process is a difficult one. It takes bravery—even just an ounce—to stand up and do something. We feel trapped by our fears, society, failures, and our own dreams and pride. We are scared of what might happen if we fail. We are scared of what might happen if we succeed. We are scared of what people might think. We are scared of what we might become. So we believe that if we do nothing, everything will be just fine. But in doing nothing, we are wasting away in dusty apathy. Is this really how we want to spend our lives—tethered to a rusted gate that cuts into our core at every chance it’s given?
I’m exhausted. It takes a lot to run around my little cage that seems to get tighter with each year I let my fears weigh me down. They scream into my heart and mind false accusations and allusions that I believe more often than I should. You aren’t good enough. You’ve failed too much in your past. You’re failing too much now to make a difference! People already think you’re different and weird…if you stay quiet and don’t take a step into freedom, maybe they’ll accept you a little more…be like them. If you step out there, it’s going to hurt too much for you to take. You are going to FAIL.
Burdened by these whispers of poison, we remain stagnant.
This was the goal of the poison all along, after all.
To keep us from realizing that the cage has been open the entire time.