The prison door is always open

Image: Redd Angelo

No matter how dark the cell is that we find ourselves in — no matter how cold and unforgiving the bars are as we clench them — there’s always that one shift in thought we can make that allows us to just… walk out.

In the self-imposed prison of the mind you are prisoner, guard, inmate, and warden.

But how adamant we are to keep ourselves locked up. Why?

Because when we tell the story of being locked up, we have a reason. A reason for our limitations, weaknesses, shortcomings, and fragility. We can point to the bars and say, “See, look. It’s not me. It’s because I’m in here.

Although our prison cell keeps us trapped, it also serves as our protection. The bars not only keep us in captivity, they keep the bad guys out. Our greatest weakness is actually our greatest defense.

Why would we want to abandon it? Why would we want to walk out and breathe free air? Because then we’d be exposed. In the open. No alibi. No protection. We’d have to make choices — choices that don’t hold the security of certainty.

Certainty. The prison is so certain. Meal time is always at definite times. There are definite, junglish rules which, if we follow them, will ensure our safety. We never have to figure out how to pay the light bill, put clothes on our kids, or grow.

That prison door is too useful to just swing open and stroll out of. Who knows what might lurk outside of it.

Freedom is frightening.

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