Imagine you are in a jail and you are desperate to get out of it. You try really hard. You cry. You beg. You scream. You hit your fists on bars. You shake the bars with all your energy. But nothing happens. Nobody comes to help you. Nobody even acknowledges your presence. You see people around you but they are totally oblivious to your situation. You are exhausted. You can smell urine around yourself. The jail is filthy. You don’t even want to eat at a horrible place like this. However, there is no help that you are getting.
Doesn’t it sound like a worst nightmare?
What if I tell you that in spite of your desperation, you haven’t chosen to walk around the jail. You haven’t chosen to look to your left and right. If you do, you will see that there are wide open doors in left and right side of the walls and if you take those openings and go out – you will be free forever.
Sounds crazy, isn’t it?
What if I tell you that maybe you did look at the openings on the left and right side walls but you ignored them. You know it very well that path will lead you to freedom but you don’t take it because you are scared of dealing with freedom. The jail, however filthy, is comfortable for you. And worst case is that your misery and crying is dear to you. You don’t want to give that up. You blame the whole world for imprisoning you but you still don’t find any jailors who could free you from this jail.
Well. You must be thinking what sort of weird story is this? Why would anybody want to be imprisoned in a filthy place and live a life of misery?
Let me tell you that a lot of people do. They imprison themselves. They are their own jailors. They love to live in misery and self-pity. Not willing to see the doors that lead them to freedom. The doors are just there, wide open. All they have to do is to take steps towards it and feel the fresh air.
Still not believing me?
Have you ever been chronically sad or depressed or anxious or stressed? Might be because some relationship that is not working, relationship with spouse, parents, siblings, and friends. Stressed because there is hell lot of work and you are not able cope with work-life balance. Sad because your in-laws aren’t treating you well. Anxious because you feel horribly guilty of the mistakes that you have done. Worried because your kids are growing up and have their freedom – you know that they can get into trouble. Grieving because your loved one died unexpectedly. Angry because a colleague is being a complete idiot and doesn’t listen to you. Jealous because your neighbors go on an international vacation twice a year and you are not able to save enough money for even one. Frustrated because even when you are putting in a lot of hard work, your management or customer doesn’t appreciate you or the money is not flowing into your business.
There are plenty of such situations in and around us. Frankly I have been guilty of almost all the above scenarios one time or the other. These feelings are the prison. They are filthy and you are always desperate to get out of them. You blame the rest of the world for imprisoning you. But the reality is that you are your own jailor. You have imprisoned yourself and you expect rest of the world to get punished. You are the only one getting punished by suffering. All you have to do is to look around you and you will find a door wide open, just walk out. World will be beautiful again.
This blog is inspired by the book “Maybe you should talk to someone”