Think Outside the Box: Our Boxes Are Too Small Anyway

Picture yourself standing next to a standard sized moving box. Now climb in that box. Contort yourself so that your whole body fits inside, and close the lid. Comfortable? Probably not. Most of us would never choose to spend a great deal of time in a cardboard box, yet we can unconsciously spend our lives in boxes of a different sort. 

The limits of our imagination and our filter for what we see is our "box." The way we conceive of the world, the way we believe things to be and how things work, this too is our box. Everybody has a filter, each person, and there is also a collective box that we inherit and help to maintain. But there's a problem.

Your box is too small. My box is too small. Our boxes are too small

When we're living in the boxes of our own making, this is what life is like:

For ourselves...
Most of us are content to view ourselves merely within reason. We're resigned to mediocrity, driven by averages. Statements of "I can't" and "I have to" dominate our rhetoric because we see ourselves as without power, without a choice. We think small and are frustrated for being small.

For others...
We automatically associate others with our past experience and with our understanding of the world. We miss the presence of others in all their nuance and variety because of our own labels we place on that person. We hear what we want to hear, and often we can assume the worst.

For our world...
We capitulate to the system and the status quo because it is. We complain but refuse to take the risk of action. We put our faith in our system, in our leaders, in the powers. We want more than we have but we can't speak to why, or we wish things would be as they were before, like in the "good ol' days." We thrive on us/them conflict and live with a constant supply of scapegoats, all while ignoring the dark underbelly from what we've created.

It doesn't have to be this way. We can break outside the boxes. We can believe for more. We can break personal barriers. We can be ourselves and see others for who they truly are. We can create heaven on earth. There is a cost:

The cost is our own story of comfort. We must face how we play small. We must face our lazy thinking. We must accept and acknowledge what we see to be the worst of ourselves.

Answers bring the illusion of comfort. Certainty helps keep us comfortable. Embracing mystery, stepping into the void... Your life will run rampant with risk... Or so we think. The truth is, it's the only way forward, and life outside the box isn't so scary after all. 

As you begin to step out of your personal box, you will begin to see it for what it is. Things you heard growing up, stories you tell yourself everyday, negative experiences, etc. You will see how you have let these things affect you, and you can then choose how you will be moving forward. Once you see your box from the outside, you will realize how silly you have been. You've been anxious about so many things, and now you just have to live. You will taste and see a freedom that you have been missing, and you'll push yourself to new limits. Outside of the box, you can see the boxes of others, listen to their in-the-box thinking and yet not be upset. You don't have to take things personally, because you know people are just seeing from their own box.

Then the fun begins. Standing for what matters to you, opening up in love and joy to the world around you, changing the game of our societal boxes... The opportunities are yours for the taking.

Personally and collectively, let's think outside the box. Our boxes are too small anyway.

Benjamin FaderComment