Recently I was connecting with a client and suddenly got the image of one of the Toy Story movies, when Woody was about to be shipped to some museum somewhere. That cute little girl toy, I don't remember her name, was in her box. She had forgotten what it felt like to be loved by someone. She had resolved herself to the assumption that this was all that was left for her.
The message that came through was that it was not too late to remember what it feels like to be loved!! Get out of your box and go running toward love!!
I am not saying that the love that is out there waiting for us is romantic love, although it could be. It could be the feeling of family, or community. It could be the feeling of being on the right path, fulfilling your purpose, or having that job that fulfills and maintains you.
How many of us build a box around ourselves, when circumstances change our significant relationships?
We experience hurt or betrayal in one of many forms. We feel violated. In the movie, the little girl toy had experienced rejection, through no fault of her own, simply because her owner had grown up. Tossed aside for a more age appropriate focus, the little girl toy felt lost and confused. Her purpose in life, which was to be loved by one little girl, was in question.
Along the way, she was acquired by a man who saw her value only as a museum showpiece. Safe in her box, she resolved herself to the assumption that her days of love and abandon were behind her.
Then along came Woody, who convinced her that life was still out there to be experienced and that there was still plenty of love to go around! All she had to do was get out of her box and go for it!!
Have you put yourself inside of a box? Have you been left behind by love? Has a primary relationship ended, whether it be a romantic relationship, or perhaps a friendship, or even your relationship to a career or spiritual path? Did you think that love came only in one form, and without it packaged up in this neat little box, it was unavailable to you?
It is time to open up that box you put yourself in, and jump out!! Yes, you may anger or frustrate someone who only sees you in one scenario: tightly wrapped up in this neat little package, visible only through cardboard and plastic. You may have to fight your way out, against those whose lives are affected by your escape!!
The path to freedom is seldom paved before you!! It is challenging!!
If you are experiencing thoughts related to: there is something beyond this box I have put myself in, take heart! You are not the only one who has ever contemplated escape from neat little boxes! You can do it!
Now I am a total advocate for making a plan! Sometimes you have to stay in the box long enough to plan your escape! I stayed in one of my boxes for many years until I had made a plan of escape, and even then, it was wrought with roadblocks and challenges. But eventually, I made my escape, and wondered, after it was all over, what took me so long! But life is not meant to cause regret! I thank the box for the learning experience! I thank those who assisted me in building and maintaining the box for all those years of finding out what doesn't work and what makes me sad so that I would recognize pure joy when it came along!
The first step is recognizing that you are, in fact, in a cardboard box, waiting to be shipped to a museum.
The next step is realizing that you do have alternatives. I don't know how many people I talk to that don't realize that they do have options. No one is stuck unless they allow themselves to be.
Here is a BIGGIE!! Other people's happiness is not your responsibility. If you are not happy, but someone else is, it is not your responsibility to be miserable so someone else can be happy. Each of us are responsible for our own joy. We each have to learn to find the joy within ourselves first, and then we can find joy in our relationships.
Here is another "I should have had a V8" kick in the head moment: sometimes if you do everything in your power to make sure someone else is happy, and they are not required to do any work to find that happiness themselves, they are not going to appreciate all your self sacrifice!
Okay so here is your assignment:
Look around your energetic self: are you in a box of your own making? Are you blaming someone else for putting you there? Are you convinced you have no options or that there is no life outside of this box?
It is time to sit down and make a plan. What steps can you take to open the box and get out? What obstacles can you perceive may come along that you are going to have to face, and when they do arise, how will you face them?
Sometimes someone will come along and point out the obvious to you, like Woody did for little cowgirl in the movie. Hey, there is another option! Get out of the box and go find that love, or that job, or that alternate spiritual path, or......(you fill in the blanks!)
If there is a question in your mind, is there something out there I am missing? Is there more to life than this? the answer is YES!! Now get out of that box and go find it!!