Friday, September 9, 2011

Prison's of Our Own Minds

Prisoners is a strong word, but it is what it is. We feel trapped, we don't know what to do...we have created a prison. A prison of our own mind. Many situations in life cause us to feel like prisoners. But how many of them are created by others and how many of them are created by ourselves and the choices we make? I would venture to say that most of them are created mostly by ourselves. That may be hard to hear or think about but keep reading. It may just surprise you how you've managed to imprison yourself.

Society tells us how to think, how to dress, how to interact with others and how to be 'normal.' Regardless of what society says, we can choose to live by those rules or not live by them. Choosing to live by them can become a prison for many women. You think about wearing that gorgeous dress out to a special event, but when you try it on it's too low cut and people may stare. Nevermind it makes you look like a movie star and you love it, you choose not to wear it because you are worried what people may think.

Sometimes society or our families tell us that something is not good to do. We learn if we do it we may be called bad names like crazy, slut, stupid, etc. We still have a choice. We can choose to do those things and risk being called names or we can choose to follow along and limit ourselves. How many times have you decided not to do something just because of what other people may think? Maybe you didn't take that dance class back in college because your mom wouldn't approve. Would you really have been a bad person for taking it? (The answer is no, that should be an easy one!)

Maybe you told a lie, out of necessity or for any reason. Maybe you're agreeing to keep a secret for a friend. Sadly, in many relationships secrets are kept from those outside of the relationship - especially parents- because the parents won't be as willing to accept the truth as the couple is. You feel like you're not free to be yourself or open yourself up and bond fully with the people you are lying to or keeping secrets from. You always have to be on guard when they are around so you don't say the wrong thing. It's another form of prison we have created. 

It's not wrong to make these choices unless they stop you from living the life you were chosen to live. I shouldn't have to point out that Albert Einstein was considered crazy, Helen Keller was considered an invalid, and Harriet Tubman broke laws on a daily basis. Think of all our world would be missing if they hadn't followed their hearts and minds and just listened to what everyone around them said was 'normal' or 'right.' And also think of how inspiring their stories are now and have been to so many other inventors and rebels that made this world better.

Religious fixtures who went against their parents, society and authority include Krishna (Hinduism), Jesus Christ (Christianity), Mohammed (Islam) and many other religious founders were considered crazy and called horrible names because they didn't fit into what society said they should during their time. What would the world be like today if none of them had followed through on their convictions? What guidance would spiritual and religious individuals have if these people had not existed in history or had let themselves be silenced by a society that didn't agree with them? I shudder to think about it.

We all create our own prisons of what we are and are not willing to do based on what someone may think or what may happen if we take a chance or reveal information. Sometimes these prisons are good and they keep us from making huge mistakes that could ruin our future. Sometimes these prisons are nothing more than some sick persons idea of gaining control over others. This is how cult's are developed - some sick mind convinces a few others what is 'right' and 'wrong' and then feeds off them following along. It's a power trip. Who are you going to let have power over your life? Yourself, your family or a bunch of people in this world you don't even know.

Every time you allow your neighbors or strangers to dictate how you live your life you are losing the battle for your own soul. You are losing a piece of yourself that you can never get back. Every time you deny yourself a need (whether it be physical or mental) just because someone outside of your family wouldn't approve you are cheating yourself out of an experience that might make you a better person. You're allowing strangers to rob you of your life.

Every time you allow a family member to use emotional blackmail to get you to do what they want, you are destroying your own mind. You are allowing them to rob you of the person you are inside. Don't let your friends, your family, your loved ones, and especially not your spouse take away your personality and convince you not to follow your heart and what you know is right. Those feelings won't go away and you'll only be left with the thoughts of "what if" and "why didn't I."

Within reason and provided you're not trying to endanger your life or someone elses, I encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone. Wear that amazingly beautiful dress that's a little too revealing for the neighbors. Walk to the store with your head held high and buy that purse you know you need. Work on that invention that everyone says is going to fail. Purchase art supplies just because it makes you feel good to paint. Listen to that 'awful' music that everyone but you hates.Be brave, be bold and make your mark on society. You could be famous someday too!

Only you can make your choices, don't let others make them for you. I can't promise it will be easy, but your mind will be free. No more mental prisons for you.


  1. argh...i think i have done what society doesn't appreciate most of the times and now i have changed a bit...and i hate it..i think i still follow my heart 98% times..

  2. i like ur way of thinking specially this one.u r a brave gal .good luck

  3. great post, I re-read it a few times :)  I totally agree, don't let other people control you or try to change you, especially through emotional blackmail, which is the most difficult to break away from, in my opinion.

  4. Yeah, emotional blackmail is also the sneakiest. You don't always realize it's happening until it's too late. But once you learn to spot it, it becomes easier to beat.