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)
Each 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other circumstances may make us feel isolated or alone -- people misunderstand and confine us to unproven or outdated conclusions.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!
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