by Therese Solimeno, Licensed Unity Teacher
Many years ago I read this story in a book entitled Nothing is Too Good to be True:
There was a man imprisoned for 20 years in the dungeon of a castle. Twice a day the guard brought the prisoner his meals, waited for him to eat, then left, closing the door behind him. Finally the prisoner's sentence was up and he waited impatiently for the guard, who just stoood outside the door.
"Hurry up and unlock the door," said the prisoner. "I can't wait to be free."
"Open it yourself," the guard replied. "It was never locked."
The author points out that "the reason the prisoner never walked out the door before was that he assumed it was locked." She asks the reader to consider that a closed door is not the same as a locked door, because a closed door can always be opened.
This story also illustrates how we must derive some benefit by imprisoning ourselves; in the example above, the prisoner was at least kept housed, safe, and assured of two meals a day.
So in what ways might you be imprisoning yourself by your own thoughts and assumptions? And what is the benefit you receive by not breaking free of them?
I have a friend with a desire to break free of the contraints of full-time, corporate employment, but her fear has always been that either she will fail as a consultant or not make enought money to support herself. So the benefit she derives by staying in an unfulfilling job is financial security, even though a part of her is diminished.
Spirit guides us to trust that we can have whatever our hearts desire, to have faith that all of our needs will be satisfied. But to bridge the gap between fear and such a remendous leap of faith, we can start challenging ourselves to break out of our self-imposed prisons in small ways.
When you have come to the edge of all light that you know, and are about to drop off into the darkness of the unknown, Faith is knowing one of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly. ― Patrick Overton
To help strengten your wings, I challenge you to try something new in your life every day:
- Eat something you've never tried before
- Try on clothing that isn't "your style" or color
- Go on vacation or to the movies alone
- Let someone else drive for change
- Learn a new sport or take dance lessons
Taking a risk isn't about bungee-jumping off the Golden Gate bridge - it's about releasing our fears and limiting beliefs and trusting that we will be supported in everything we do.
As for my friend, she just gave notice at her job....
Therese Solimeno has been a Licensed Unity Teacher since 1998, and is a co-founder of Unity Five Cities. She finds inspiration in movies, music and modern culture as well as traditional books and writings.