Mentally and Emotionally Imprisoned

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The greatest prison that people live in is the fear of what other people think.

~David Icke

By, C. W. Stratton

Life is full of surprises and gifts. However, many of us are too inpatient to wait for these to be revealed. There are those of us that want things to occur yesterday, but when we are so fixated on this we tend to lose sight of what’s right before us. You know the saying, “we have one foot on yesterday and the other on tomorrow which results in us pissing all over today.” I have a clear understanding that we want to improve our lives and at times we will do this by any means. Many times we are just spinning our wheels and not take the risk that requires us to improve. We become locked in to a set of ideas, beliefs and behaviors that totally restrict us from going in the direction that we consistently relay that we want to go in. What is done, is we create a barrier around ourselves and we cry from within about the things we want and what we want to improve in our lives. We become encapsulated by our faulty ideas, beliefs and behaviors; the very things that have restricted and confined us.

The faulty ideas, beliefs and behaviors eventually take form as an invisible wall; they imprison us. Those that are imprisoned have a date of release (many do), but those imprisoned psychologically do not have a date of release. Actually, this is known as the most difficult form of imprisonment to escape. We carry this wherever we go and it’s exposed during our interactions with the world. Consequently, we look outside our ourselves and seek fault in things around us, instead of looking within. This can be quite catastrophic if carry this throughout our life-cycle. We scream, fight and cry but actually do not know why, or who we are doing this towards. In all reality, we are fighting with ourselves because we don’t know how to escape the prison we have created for ourselves. We have the ability to escape this state of mind; why not, we created it.

To escape this requires hard work, consistency, resiliency and self-honesty on our part. It may be scary to look at ourselves but it’s even scarier being locked-in. Breaking from the barriers or psychological imprisonment we have formed can be quite rewarding, refreshing and liberating. We must discontinue looking outside of ourselves to obtain what we say we desire. Risks need to be taken and courage must accompany this in order to break free on the chains we built. Fear is the most significant thing that binds us and until we get to a point of courage, we will remain in the same position we are currently in. There is so much in this world to experience and explore outside of the prison we have manufactured. Some believe remaining in their current position is safe, or even comfortable. I say, “it’s just familiar” so we don’t let go. Escape the prison you’ve created and begin to live.

The Freedom To Be

Free to be

C. W. Stratton

The desire to improve our lives is viewed as a normal aspect of our society.  We are constantly presented with ways to become a better person.  Right from birth we are taught how to behave and what’s expected of us to be a productive individual.  Those closest to use who are feeding us information, are going off of their own point of reference.  This doesn’t mean what’s being conveyed to us is inaccurate.  Those individuals points of reference eventually become our own at some point.  This tends to create a continuum that will go through generations.  The cycle continues until someone breaks free of the taught thinking and behavior that has become a so-call “norm”.  When this does occur, that person is immediately looked down upon because they are living the up to the status quo that had been created.

Many times, there are those of us who have no clue why we do, what we do.  We acknowledge that others are doing it, so it must be right.  This can be related to so many different things in our lives:

-Family

-Friends

-School

-Neighborhood

-Relationships

-Employment

We follow the majority in many cases.  This may be due to our personal fear of leading, fear of being expansive, or fear of starting something new outside the familiar.  We want more out of life but we don’t take the required steps to be innovative and original.  As a result, we remain within a suffering state that fuels disappointment, underachievement, and life dissatisfaction.  However, we continue to push along with the crowd in hopes that something miraculous occurs to change our circumstances.

We spend a considerable amount of time and energy improving our “external” conditions, to obtain a sense of freedom, happiness, and to solve many of life’s problems.  Improving “external” conditions will never solve “internal” problems.  At the very moment you feel an internal problem is solved by improving external conditions, something else will arise within which will result in focusing on the external once again; to get that warn and accomplished feeling back.  Working backwards like this is likes being on a hamster wheel; you feel like you’re moving forward but you’re actually going nowhere.  We must learn to control the mind and desires to achieve the happiness we ultimately seek.

First improve “internal conditions” in order to maintain those external things.

Legitimate Fear

Fear

By, C.W. Stratton

All of us have experienced some form of fear on one level or another.  Being able to identify legitimate fear becomes problematic for some.  Fear is the unpleasant emotion or belief that something or someone is dangerous, likely to cause harm or a threat.   Another definition suggest that the feeling can be experience weather the threat is real or imagined.  Focusing our attention on the feeling itself has the likelihood to limit our ability in determining if the fear is actually warranted in a given situation.  Obviously there are legitimate reason to experience fear.

*A barking dog exposing its fangs running in your direction.

*A car barreling down the road in your direction as you cross the street.

*Someone threatening you with a weapon or causing physical pain.

*An event or situation that can result in loss of life.

The fear that many of us experience aren’t typically associated with the aforementioned.  After assessing a given situation thoroughly, we may find that our fears aren’t connected to dangers or threats at all.  Some of our fears are associated with others and how they may respond to certain discussions we may be involved in.  We may be that individual who lacks self-confidence, whereas fear becomes a constant feeling at unexpected times.  Given this being a individuals reality, we must realize that lack of self-confidence doesn’t mean there are dangers or threats that will become of harm to the person.  The fear becomes the fear of a feeling that one may experience if we relay a message to someone and they don’t respond in a way that we had depicted in our minds prior.  A result, we begin to condition ourselves mentally to avoid certain conversations, situations and interactions.  Think about some of the ways and things we associate with fear:

*Change

*Changing careers

*Letting someone down.

*Being wrong.

*Asking for help.

*Following your dreams.

*Speaking up about what you believe in.

*Addressing an issue with someone who may have hurt your feelings

*Challenging a statement of someone that you know is inaccurate.

*Stepping outside of certain conventional practices.

*Rejection (avoid hearing that huge word “NO”).

These are only a few things that we associate with fear but as we can see, there’s no real danger, harm or threat involved in these.  However, we hold on and identify the feeling as fear, and in turn, it prevents us from making the progress that we say we desire.  We become paralyzed by the illegitimate fears.  We rob ourselves of the opportunity to communicate our wants and needs; we remain in the comfort zone of stagnation.  Is the zone really comfortable?  It’s just a familiar place to be that’s consumed with discomfort.  It’s time to challenge ourselves (our views, perceptions and ideas of reality) and become more confident and comfortable with who we are as people.  Being able to identify the feeling you are actually experiencing in a given situation is critical to progress; it’s not always fear.  It could possibly be other feelings you may subconsciously refuse to identify (inadequacy, insecurity, shame, or guilt).  It’s time to identify and conquer.

 

Self-Assessment

By, C.W. Stratton

Self assessment
During life we will be challenged and even forced to take a real close look at ourselves and our current position in life.  Forced self-assessment can be fear provoking and overwhelming for the most part.  The self-assessment can be catapulted by our interactions with our loved ones, colleagues, friends or other associates.  The results of the self-assessment can bring about fear, shame, guilt and even pain; for some of us.  There are those of us that may harbor these feelings to the point of feeling total defeat and not wanting to improve our situation.  We tend to protect these harmful feelings and thoughts with all we have.
During our illogical phase, which can last a moment or for a significant period of time, we harm ourselves and others in the process.  If our self-assessment indicates that bad decisions, behaviors  or mistakes were made in our lives, we have the ability to resolve and restore.  Making a bad decision doesn’t make us bad people.  That decision can be transformed into a learning a experience that can help propel us to where we really want to be.  The key is not to stay “stuck” in the bad decision or in the feelings that come with it.  Looking within ourselves and finding the strength that we all possess to move forward is such an enlightening experience.
Looking at ourselves (our Inner-Self; is who we are) and acknowledging the natural gifts and talents that we possess is key.  We have the tendency of being more focused on our personality (things outside of ourselves; family, careers, friends, material things, certain behaviors, etc.), opposed to digging deeper to look at our Inner Self.  We can overcome the negative thoughts and feelings that we may have about ourselves by tapping into our natural abilities and talents that exist.  There are those times where we may say we are having a bad day, but what I’ve found over time, it’s really a bad moment that I hold on to for a whole day.  Self-assessment isn’t a bad thing, it an opportunity to see where change and growth need to occur.

Unique Like Everyone Else

By, C. W. Stratton

Wandering  through life aimlessly is a reality for many.  When asking a individual of there current position in this world, the response heard at times is, “It is what it is.”  The phrase sounds cool and slick but when these words are relayed to a individual full of purpose and direction, it’s like a fingernail going across a chalkboard.  There are circumstances in life that can actually be changed.  Having direction, passions and goals are integral aspects of change.  We must broaden our experiences in the world and with others.
Unfortunately, there are individuals who don’t recognize a need for change or improvement.  Associates, friends, colleagues and even family of  such individuals have difficulty pointing out, to that person, that there is a need for change or improvement in their lives.  We will allow that individual to remain in the unproductive state they are in.  Why is this?  We either have difficulty with confrontation, we are selfish, don’t want to hurt that persons feelings, or we let that person remain where they are because it makes our mediocre existence look better than want it really is.  The question posed may take time to actually answer, but I’m sure the response will fall within the realm of the aforementioned.  If we were that individual who was at a “stuck point” in our lives, wouldn’t we want some assistance or guidance to move beyond that place?
Each individual creates their own existence along the way, but there may be obstacles and stumbling blocks on the path.  There are those who have the capability of overcoming them and you have those who have great difficulty with these obstacles and as a result they remain stuck in that position.  Can we find a genuine and sincere way to assist others?  This assistance doesn’t have to be monetary in nature because a few spoken words of encouragement and direction can be of great value.
We tend to get caught up in the reality that we’ve created for ourselves and leave many people left out of behind in the process.  As time passes and our circle becomes smaller, we become so encapsulated that we no longer can see beyond our own existence and not have the ability to see what actually exists outside of ourselves.  In turn, when we make an attempt to step outside of our encapsulated lives, we can’t relate to the other parts of life that we’ve neglected.  We’ve created an existence that’s full of “stuck points” and limitations.  We prevent ourselves from expanding our learning and meaningful experiences in the world.  We have separated ourselves as if we are not like others and we go as far as thinking that our experiences in this world are unique.  Once we break through the barriers we have created and step outside the encapsulated reality we’ve created for ourselves, then we’ll find the truth.

The Map Home

By C. W. Stratton

If we were to look at our lives as if it were a road-map; beginning with the past, it may appear that we are totally lost.  We’ve hit dead ends, closed roads, some paths even under construction or no longer exist.  We would eventually say, as we look at the map, “This makes no sense.”  If we begin to look deep within ourselves with a keen eye, open mind and an open heart, we could see that every road leads somewhere.  Organizing the pieces will show you how to reach your goal or destination.  With this knowledge about your travels you can begin identifying the things that are most meaningful to you.  Once we make an accurate identification, we can begin sorting out the barriers in the road to make a clearer path for ourselves.

Where the Leaf Lands

By C. W. Stratton

Throughout our lives we have been bombarded with information about ways to improve our lives and to be successful.  Some of us have wandered through life aimlessly in hopes to find the one place we fit in.  We’ve followed the direction of others but soon found out, “this isn’t a comfortable place either.”  As a result, we move on to the next adventure that has been suggested to us.  A continuation of these events eventually makes it appear that we’ve become “a jack of all trades.”  We may have full resumes of things we’ve done in the past but taking a closer look we can find that nothing we’ve done really aligned with our inner being.  Some of us engage in things for social status or to say “look who I am now” or “look what I’ve accomplished”, only to find that these things were temporary and were no longer fulfilling…superficial.  Envision our lives as a leaf falling from a tree during the autumn season, it looks beautiful but the leaf will blow wherever the wind takes it; it has no direction or control of where it lands.  Some of us have lived our lives accordingly to the point it has created suffering, confusion, frustration and total discontent.  We as human beings have absolute control of what direction our lives go;  during those dark times of our lives it may appear difficult to see.  However, or inner selves possesses a light that can guide us in our pursuits.  Taking time to sit with ourselves and begin searching within our core to find our passions in life is critical.  All of us have something that we’re passionate about.  This can transcend to a doorway for us to walk through.  Although fear of the unknown and fear of change surfaces, we are safe to identify our passions; this identification becomes our foundation for our direction.  Our passions will eventually lead us to our purpose.