Do you remember a long time ago, or perhaps not so long ago, there was a time, when you were so brave, and courageous, you could do anything you put your mind to? You were that child in school who said yes to singing the National Anthem in the school assembly in front of everyone… Or you were that child who didn’t have any qualms about taking on the school bully even when you were half his size? Perhaps, you were that child who was always the lead in the school play, and you did an awesome job at it every time?
What happened to that person, that brave soul that was inside of you? Where is he or she now? Where did that part of you go and die?
I don’t know about you, but I was an extremely brave child. Auditioned for all the school plays. Answered all the questions in class, even sometimes when I wasn’t absolutely sure of the answer. And even though I was a terrible dancer, I still danced my heart out at the Talent Competition every year. That was me when I was 7 or 8 years old.
Where Is That Brave One?
I was a brave little girl. But now that I look back at the last few years, at least in my teens, and twenties… And I don’t know where that brave little girl went.
Seriously, where art thou??
All of a sudden, as I went through puberty, I went through a phase where I became a scared little child instead. I was scared of everything, everything, everything. Name something right now, and I was probably scared of it.
How did this happen? How did I go from one of the bravest little souls out there to someone who was scared of her own shadow?
I was speaking to a friend of mine recently and he actually went through the same transition. He was one of the bravest little boys at 7, and even at 15. But as time went on, he became more and more afraid, so much so that he spent all of his 30s, and 40s hiding and hibernating rather than living his dreams.
Society Needs To Put Us In Boxes, Otherwise Chaos Ensues
The rule book says all parents have to shove their brave little children into smaller and smaller boxes until they lose that spark that they have.
Why is that? Well, brave little souls are too much for this tiny boxy world to handle. Can you imagine if all of us were like those brave little souls at 7 or 8 or even 15? How would the world function? How would we get all of those people to work in demeaning jobs where the soul is sucked out of you every day?
Most people if brave would go after their dreams, and we can’t have everyone running after their dreams at full speed. It would create chaos, or that’s what they would have you believe.
But what they tell parents is this – “Get your damn children under control, or they are going to be jailed or have to be reprimanded somehow. They will never be successful and you will watch as they get older, and poorer, and institutionalized someday. If you want your children to function in normal society, get them back on track. Get them back in that damn box that we gave you for them, and get them functioning at a ‘normal’ level.”
Parents Do What They Think Is Best
Our poor parents don’t want us to be destitute and on the streets. So they do what they can to kill our spark and get us back into that box. They don’t like it, of course. But they think it’s for the best. Sometimes, parents are unsuccessful, and the children escape from the box, and are still able to be successful. In fact, these escapees are sometimes more successful than the ones who are in boxes.
But their stories are hidden behind the adage of lots of hard work, and lots of luck, something not everyone wants to put in.
So parents kill their children’s dreams by telling them, “No, you shouldn’t become a writer. You are never going to make any money from it. It’s better if you become a doctor. That way you can use all of your smarts to get lots of money and then you can do all of that charity work that you always talk about.”
Thus, the child who thinks that their parents are the ultimate voice in everything, listen, and they give up on their dreams. They decide that yes, becoming an engineer/lawyer/doctor would be the best use of my time, of course!
I Am One Of Those Escapees
My parents did the best they could, but I was always too much to handle when I was young. And as I got older, it became worse and worse. I was never able to stick with a job for too long, because I wasn’t interested, and I had dreams.
I always knew I wanted to become a writer, but having been told over and over again that I would never make it, I decided to make money in other ways, be really frugal, and then do the writing once I retire. But, when you are living a life without your dreams, life sucks!
It sucks balls, but it also sucks the soul out of you. I would go to work every day and I would feel like I was dying a little bit on the inside. It’s not that I am not a hard worker. I love to work, and if I am interested in something, I will work like a dog at it.
But I wasn’t doing what I loved which is being creative in all the ways I am now. That’s what I wanted to do, and until I did, I was dead.
The Spark Comes Back When We Live Our Dreams
That spark will only come back when decide absolutely that you are going to at least start living your dream part-time. It is absolutely necessary for you to make that promise to that inner child of yours that has been waiting for decades to play again with their dreams.
They are inside of you, inside that box that you were placed in decades ago.
You won’t be able to leave that box right away. But little by little, you can start exploring your dreams and figuring out what you want to do with your life, so that it becomes that miraculous spark that it was decades ago.
It won’t be easy.
It is constantly trying to get me back into the box!
We have to be constantly vigilant and hyperaware to not ever go back into that box again. That box is so suffocating, that I would rather die than go back into it. I would rather die a hundred thousand miserable deaths here on this Earth flying free, and full of life, doing my thing, than go back into that box.
It’s Always Easier Said Than Done
Leaving the box will be one of the hardest things you will ever do. Ever. It is harder than anything else, because there are forces all the time trying to pull you back. ALL THE TIME!
Society does not want us leaving our boxes. It is best for the world for us to stay in boxes, and explore that teeny-tiny portion of the world only. Most of us are so big and expansive when we were children that being stuffed into that tiny box is like putting an elephant into the nucleus of an atom. It is too much and too suffocating.
But its always easier to go into the box weirdly enough than to come back out. Everyone is living in these boxes, and so when you are in one as well, it feels comfortable, and good. You feel like you are one of the crowd.
Leaving the box can be isolating, and degrading. You are going to lose all of your friends, and some of your family. Alone, you are going to be battling the forces daily that are trying to get you back, while you try out your luck at your dream.
It is not fun. Nor is it easy. But it is definitely worth it.
I would rather live one of these short lives filled with my dreams, and no boxes, rather than a hundred lives sitting in a tiny box, unaware of the expansiveness and bigness of my being.
What about you?