I think it’s fair to say that we all experience moments when we feel like we’re trapped; trapped in our own reality, be that the rat race existence of an unfulfilling nine to five job or a relationship that doesn’t, perhaps, live up to our earlier romantic expectations, or simply trapped in a life that isn’t aligned with our childhood dreams.
‘Trapped’ has so many connotations and, momentarily leaving aside any metaphoric sense of the word, trapped in so far as a definition means to be imprisoned, to have one’s freedom taken away, like the unsuspecting, poor mouse seeking survival yet meeting his or her early demise on an inhumane glue trap or in a minute cell after naively munching on some cheese; or trapped can mean to have been tricked or deceived into doing something that wasn’t intentionally part of a plan but that can still ultimately impact freedom. Trapped is a decidedly ominous word.
As I write this, I feel trapped.
I’m confined by the self-imposed, limitations that counteract my now virtually unspeakable childhood dreams. By the confines of society and a capitalist system that sells dreams of success with hidden caveats citing class and intellect as prerequisites for freedom.
The nine to five Groundhog Day churn of allowing ourselves to be dominated by a system that won’t ever permit us to rise up from the proletariat ashes of the Industrial Revolution is rife. The thought of taking risks and leaving this journey, designed by bourgeoisie architects, of a guaranteed salary (some may question what date the guarantee runs out given the current economic climate of uncertainty) is so fearsome that it appears, to us good folk, insurmountable.
The level of control we are subjected to on a daily basis and throughout our lives is tantamount to imprisonment of the mind and spirit, impacting our physical selves and the lives that we calve out. I know that when I’m beholden to external forces, I feel downtrodden, lost and soulless. I feel this way as I write. If we follow the rules that society has laid out for us, how can we ever find, let alone reach, our full potential? We should no more follow the masses into a sewer of drudgery but stand up and be counted.
Considering for a moment the imprisonment of the mind and spirit, and it’s affect on our physical being, should encourage us to contemplate the belief that physical actions and subsequent consequences are almost entirely within out control, and, therefore, the initial thought and dream always has the potential to result in achievement. I have to remind myself of this fact time and time again, particularly in this very moment, a Saturday evening, when the thought of my return to the rat race on Monday morning to a world of unfulfilled souls whose lack of self fulfilment leads them to engage in subhuman politics, fills me with horror. My mind becomes dark, my stomach fluttery and I yearn for something more.
It has taken me a long time to figure out that we have a unique trick up our sleeves. We are our own agent. At any fork in the road , we have the power to choose our pathway. What is more exciting, following a route mapped out by others and over which we have no control, or calving out new, undiscovered territory?
Conforming is the curse of the herd. It’s time to be brave, to embrace freedom.
Let us listen to our inner wildness and find out who we are and why we are really here. We each possess talents with which we can calve out more satisfying lives. It really is possible to change the world for the better and, in doing so, improve our individual lives.
The notion of anything being possible isn’t just for the upper echelons of society, indeed it never has been confined to one sub section of humanity. Yes we, the working classes, may not have had the same monetary opportunities in life but we must take some responsibility because to be controlled, the controlled must, to some extent, allow the action to take place in the first place. We have the same faculties as any other human being and so we are each individually responsible for denying any form of victimisation just as we are individually responsible for playing our role in terms of creating a sustainable planet.
It’s time to act and to revert back to our warrior selves and, despite the fear of losing financial security and returning to previously dark times, I can no longer live a lie.
Perhaps its also time to stray from conformity and perhaps the stray dogs of the world have the right idea. Freedom. The fear in me does, of course, point out that failure could be imminent and that I could be embarking on an endless search for survival. But there’s a balance to be had and a departure from a consumerist and controlling society should at least be considered, surely.
Perhaps with dreams and ideas, some knowledge, good people and instinct, we can find that balance between happiness, success and the survival of ourselves and the planet.
The beaten track looks increasingly attractive. It’s pathways etched by the test of time, now showing signs of a depleted world, could still be a golden gateway for what we as humans are forever searching – heaven on earth.
It’s time to take control and to prioritise our lives. If we don’t, somebody else will.
It’s time to stray from the beaten track. It’s time to be free.
Taken from The Beautiful Life 90 Day Journal