You have thought that you have done much wrong. You have
thought that you have set the world out against you. You have thought that you
You have condemned yourself.
Yet what has really happened is that you have thought wrongly of yourself. You have seen yourself as you are not. You have set up your own cage. You have thought that you are alone.
You have fought with yourself.
What if you could walk out of your cage now? What if there was no redeeming to be done? What if you had nothing to prove—only to be?
What if you are already beautiful and complete as you are, and all you have to do is allow yourself to be as you are?
What if you have not even to forgive yourself? What if forgiveness is completely unnecessary? What is there to forgive, when you have done no wrong?
Look upon the contents of your past, and see the perfection there. See where your soul has called to you, and you ignored that call. See where creativity offered one path, and you opted instead for another. See where your heart has lit up, and you attempted to stuff it down. See where your mind has engaged, and you sought to shut it off. See where your body has risen up, and you strained to hold it back. See where you have been offered love, and you denied it.
Look upon this collection. Are these wasted moments? Times that, if only you could get them back…? Opportunities tossed to the side? Life not lived?
Life cannot be wasted. It is always being used in some fashion—in the fashion of your choosing. All of your past is choice. Experience called forth. Ideas created.
When you look upon your past, you may be dismayed by the choices you’ve made, the experiences you’ve had, and the ideas you have formed. If that is the case, the place to start is with those very ideas.
Where you have ignored the call of your soul, see not the inklings of a madman, but the convictions of a divine being. Where you have squelched your creativity, see not childishness, but a genius’ play. Where you have silenced your heart, see not foolishness, but deep connection. Where you have shut off your mind, see not ramblings, but curiosity. Where you have restrained your body, see not impulse, but interaction.
And where you have denied love, recognize that to deny love entails that love was indeed there—you simply chose not to engage with it. Love is always present and never dies. Attractions may fade and relationships may change form, yet love remains. No matter what words have been said, emotions have been felt, or deeds have been done, you can always engage with love—with anyone.
And love is its own greatest reward. No matter what words are said, emotions are felt, or deeds are done, when you come forth with love in your heart, love will reward you simply by being present. Indeed, love’s reward is immediate and everlasting. There is nothing you must do to gain this reward: only to be.
Allow the so-called “foibles” of your past to serve as contrast to this truth: that you are a being of immense creative power, divine love, and intelligence beyond compare. All you have done, whenever you have been “mistaken,” is fail to see this. Remember this truth, and you will find yourself on the path that calls your soul, utilizes your creativity, fills your heart, engages your mind, turns on your body, and bestows you with love.
See your “mistakes” as steps on the path. Be grateful for the experience of change they allow you to have—the experience of changing from how you would rather not be to how you would like to be. You can watch yourself grow from these mistakes. You get to witness yourself grow from forgetful innocence to mature remembrance. How beautiful is this?
You will think yourself worthy of the cage again and again. You will walk yourself in there, and may even close the door and throw a blanket over the top. The key to exiting the cage is to recognize that you and only you have put yourself there.
You may believe that you are trapped by others’ ideas about you; however, such ideas are simply your ideas of others’ ideas about you. Thus, they are your ideas.
The world reacts to you as you would have it do so. Think about this: if you could meet everyone from a place of absolute, unconditional love, what need would you have to criticize yourself? What reason would there be to hide, restrain, and deprive yourself? And what is the cage but a place of unwarranted self-criticism, hiding, restraint, and deprivation?
Others do not wish to see you in the cage. You may believe they think you deserve to be there. Yet, the reality is that when you are confused about yourself, others are confused about you as well. If others talk like you belong in the cage, it is not because they really want you there. What they want is for you to shine; yet they, like you, have forgotten you can do this. So they, like you, see that the only other option is the cage.
So, if you want to exit the cage, the only person who can free you is the one who has trapped you: yourself.
To make your exit from the cage, it will serve you to remember that only you have put yourself there, and no one actually desires to see you there. Think about this: have you ever desired to see a man rot in his own shame, burn with guilt, and be crushed by fear? Has it ever been your wish to see human life go to waste, and be thrown away to punishment?
Whenever you have had thoughts such as these, it is not because these were your true desires. Rather, you simply forgot that the person who you are condemning can shine—just as he himself has forgotten this. For if he knew whole-heartedly that he could shine, what need would you have to condemn him? For then, his life would be admirable. And if you knew whole-heartedly that he could shine, even while he himself did not, what could you do but forgive him? Or go beyond forgiveness and understand him, since you, too, have previously forgotten that you can shine?
No one deserves the cage. It is on an individual basis that we choose to cage ourselves and ultimately separate ourselves from one another. If we were to choose together, as conscious beings, we would see no need for the cage. Instead, we would desire the opposite: for all of us to live as the free, divine beings that we are. Most of all, we would desire that we can do this together.
The most effective thing you can do to keep yourself out of the cage is to help another out. Remind him of his freedom, his power, his intelligence, his soul, and the love that surrounds him at all times. Ensure him that there is no need for the cage. Put the two of you on equal footing, and let him see that if he is just as you, then he is not alone, and thus there is no cage of isolation necessary to be in.
Help others out of the cage wherever you see them trapped, and you shall find yourself with no need to return there.
That’s what I hope to do with this article, anyway. <3
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