Saturday, May 13, 2023

Feeling Boxed In?

Have you ever felt trapped -- or "boxed in"?  Recently, I read an article and watched a video about the difference between cats and dogs when it comes to boxes.  Cats are attracted to boxes: the confined space provides a sense of safety, security, and warmth.  For dogs, as social animals, the box separates or isolates them from their "pack."

I wondered about these differences and times when I have felt trapped by:

  • Social constraints or stereotypes;
  • Past mistakes or missteps;
  • Friends and neighbors not respecting social boundaries; and,
  • Deadlines or projects that restrict my freedom.
Do you find comfort by how you are defined?
(Photo: credit:  5 Reasons Why Cats Love
Cardboard Boxes
, YuMove)

ach situation is unique: under some conditions, we may feel safe and derive comfort -- people know us because of our history and relationships; other circumstances may make us feel isolated or alone -- people misunderstand and confine us to unproven or outdated conclusions. We sit and stare in disbelief as as are left behind.

How do you define yourself?
(Photo credit:  Take the Great Box Challenge and
Strengthen Your Bond with Your Dog
, American Kennel Club)

I came across another video, Don't Put People in Boxes (click on the link to watch).  Though this video is Christian-based -- which could be a box for some people or isolate others -- the message warns us about the effects of boxing people in:  that is, when we limit our relationships, we are defined by Us and Them; we become separated and defensive; we protect our way of being at the exclusion of others.

By changing the questions -- or trying to find better questions, we begin to see ourselves through the lens of We with:
  • The same or similar experiences.
  • The ability to encourage and support.
  • The realization that each person has Sacred Worth and Value.

When have you felt separated from others?
(Photo credit:  Don't Put People in Boxes, NewHope Church)

Therefore, the challenge for us when we feel boxed in, separated or isolated is to change the questions that we ask ourselves and others:
  • What experiences do I (We) have in common?
  • How can I (We) encourage and support?
  • Do I (We) see the other person as Sacred?
Please let me know if (when) I box you in.  Let's get to know one another -- as we are:  Sacred and Valued!

Larry Gardepie

(click on link for website)

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