Thursday, February 9, 2012

Voluntary Imprisonment

See the creepy mime above? Look ridiculous? Yeahhh, lil bit. You might even be thinking to yourself, "never going to see me do that!" Don't be so quick with the pronouncments, my friend.

We live in a land and culture that glorifies freedom. Freedom from oppression, freedom to seek out new opportunities, and the freedom to live our lives how we want to.  Sure not everyone has the same playing field, but we're also not stuck by social rules into a caste system. The freedom is there to overcome the odds of poverty, barriers to education, and other disadvantages that we may have been dealt. If you're religious, there's a good chance that your spiritual outlook is also based around freedom. Freedom from appetites, freedom from temporal things, and freedom from anything that holds us back from true happines and peace, what some might even refer to as nirvana.

So what's freedom got to do with a creepy guy (No offense, Mr. Mime) in an imaginary box? Look a little closer. Recognize yourself yet? Okay, so let's hope that isn't really you. If it's a family member, I apologize.  Obviously that's not literally you, but I bet that if you think for a while, you can figure out a specific time in life, or maybe even a certain ongoing area(s) of your life where you do put yourself into an imaginary box (I ain't hatin' if you've put yourself in literal boxes for entertainment. I'm just as guilty as the next. What? It's been a rough economy, alright?). So why do we do it?! What a juxtaposition of mindsets! Where is the logic here? "I want to be free so I can limit myself?" What is it about human nature that dares to envision uninhibited range of motion in our lives, and at the same time allows ourselves to entrap ourselves into these imaginary, and closed in spaces?

It literally breaks my heart to see good, genuinely kind people hurt themselves by submitting themselves to the same inflictions time after time. Whether it be destructive addictions like pornography, drugs, alochol, etc. it makes me sick inside to see these people turn back to what never has brought them happiness and what never will. Especially those who find themselves going back to the same type of individuals for relationships, because they don't see that there's so much more out there. It doesn't seem to matter how badly they were hurt before.

I know there's a lot of psychological theory behind these types of situations, and it's not as easy as just walking away a lot of the time. But I'd argue that a lot of the time we only contain ourselves in these restricted parameters because we don't really know what we're looking for, and maybe we're too scared to really take the time to find out. As much as we like to talk about the grandiosity of freedom, maybe just maybe we're more comfortable with set boundaries of those things which we've experienced. Maybe it's time we as humans start doing away with boxing ourselves in, and instead start learning to box the junk in our lives out.

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