is your box a prison?


So you’ve had time to think.  You’ve forgotten the box for a while.  Now it is time to think just a bit ABOUT that box.

This is the beginning of what I hope will lead to a long list of posts. If this is of interest to you I hope you will do me the honor of making some comment later on. I say this because it is my goal to share some of what I call sight that I have with those that have that desire to see a bit deeper into themselves. It is also my goal to assist others to heal in ways that I have been allowed to heal over the past couple of years.

It has actually taken quite a bit of time. Not just the couple of years I have most recently spent healing. It has also taken some tearing down to begin the rebuilding process and that will be shared as well. Maybe not in this post but if there is interest I will share as I see the need.

Most of my blogs are in response to some sort of trigger. That can be someone close to me or a statement I’ve read. It can be a column in a trade magazine or a blog I’ve read. It may be a news report, something someone said while I’m on the job or off, or any number of things that can cause some trigger to be pulled, button to be pushed, or influence to be gained that causes me to have the creative (writing) juices flow.

The term “Box” as it relates to our lives has been around for quite some time. The idea regarding how to write about the box has been whirling around in my head for years. I’ve discussed it with a number of people and would now like to begin putting into writing what my thoughts have been as well as much of what I have learned from others about this box we call life.

Lets begin with just this small idea today.  That our life is a box.  One WE build even if with some help from others.

As an adult I still remember many of my visits to my grandmother’s house.  One of the more pleasurable experiences at my grandma’s house was that just down the small dirt road in back of her house there was the back of a building that was the rear of a storefront.  That storefront sold appliances.  OK… I can see I’ve got your interests (NOT).  Never fear, more coming.

This appliance store often threw out some very large boxes which a refrigerator or dryer might come in.  I absolutely loved it.  I would drag one of those discarded boxes back to my grandma’s house and go in her kitchen and pull out one of her old kitchen knives and start whacking away at my “fort.”  I would cut a door and windows and crawl inside and find refuge from the outside world.  I was in my own world.  That simple box would become my world for the afternoon or at least till I became hungry.  The only one that really hated this was my uncle who would wind up having to drag what used to be a box out to the trash when we left.

I was fortunate to be able to share some of this experience with my daughters later in my life.  They were staying with me overnight after my divorce.  We had a rather large box that I can’t remember where it came from, but I began telling them about this aspect of my life and we started cutting away at this box.  I started by cutting out the door.  That was all it took.  The girls all started making this box into a small palace for the youngest of the three girls.  They cut windows and then even made embellishments that I would never have thought of as a child myself.  They took crayons and drew flowers in a window box.   They drew window panes and door knobs.  They drew siding and part of a roof and grass and even what was supposed to be a kitten on the side.  Much more elaborate than my forts that I was sooo proud of way back when.  My youngest daughter slept in it that night on pillows and a blanket.  She thought it was great.

Most of us are OCD where it concerns our box.  We hide in it.  We feel some form of comfort in it.  Some of us have larger boxes that others.  None of us seems to feel our box is big enough.  We play in it, dream in it, eat, drink, sleep, and basically live out our entire lives IN our box.  Our box is our life.  It states who we are and what we think of ourselves.  Or so we think.

So… we paint it and keep it shinny for all to see (from the outside).  Keep it clean and pristine (on the outside).  We go to great lengths to exhibit what we think we want others to think about us.  What we think others see.  What we see others see of us (that one is a bit more difficult to understand but try).  It is a facade of the brick and mortar of what we would like to think others know of us.

What we build is our own little prison for ourselves.  As we get older one of two things will happen.  Most will enlarge that box.  Re-decorate and renew old walls.  Change the walls to something we like better.  Something we think is prettier or grander than what we had.  This is a method of making our cell larger and yet stronger.  We become well fortified, secure, and helpless at the same time.

Others seem to try to force their way in.  We allow only a few inside our walls and keep certain rooms locked or even boarded up so that others can not penetrate that room where we have hidden some of our most precious secrets or possibly regrets.  Some of us even seal up the room of secrets so tight that we ourselves can not enter for fear that what is inside my eat us up.  And THAT room seems to grow of it’s own accord.  So we make our prison larger.  More rooms to hide in.  More rooms to find solace.  We might even try to trust someone with some of our house to have shared rooms where the comfort level can increase.

There is a certain amount of camaraderie  with other prisoners.  There is a prison yard where we all gather to talk about our cells and about other inmates.  About what we’re in for and how we are innocent.  No-body really believes it though.  Even in our own selves we know that everyone is guilty as charged.

That was one way.  A way in which MOST people live.  Even if they don’t even recognize that they are in their prison box.

The other box is so much more.  So much better.

It is a box where the prison walls have been found to have cracks.  Those cracks have been expanded and the walls torn down.  Where openness and freedom abound.  The wide open space of freedom from the box.  We know the box exists and remnants may still exist.  A room or two may still be in our prison that we have yet to tear down but we are trying.  This is a place of openness to the things around us that we don’t even understand.  Things that we may have rejected in the past are at least visible.  Things that we held on to with all our might we have let go.  Sometimes these things were hurts.  Sometimes they STILL hurt.  But we do our best to let them go as we really understand that we have no control over them.  They exist but do not control us.

There is freedom to be had.  There is openness to share.  There is light that shines here constantly and abundantly.  It is a beautiful place indeed.  Peace is here.  Contentment is here.  Love is here.  Shadows of love exist in the prison but the true light of real love abounds here in the open.  Outside the box.  But in order to get here you have to let go and stop building the walls that confine you.  You have to break free of these same walls you have built around yourself.

Maybe more next time.  Let me know if you want to see more of this.

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Author: memman

Too much to tell. There is more than what is seen on the surface of any man. Some have more layers than others. I have many.

1 thought on “is your box a prison?”

  1. Yes Dan! Let’s hear more about the box!
    The box as identity!
    I’m intrigued with both what’s inside and what is outside the box.
    I think somehow we must find ourselves… In both places… At once… How can that be?
    Why must it be… In our quest for who we really are?

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