My knees jabbed into my chest as my arms curled and tangled themselves around my forlorn body. My whole being was twisted and contorted. The space I was being shoved into was undoubtedly too small to fit inside. Still, the force wouldn’t stop shoving me, taunting me, and driving me deeper into the tiny, dark box. The limited air supply was stale and suffocating. With every attempt to save myself, my body was crammed deeper into the incredibly restrictive space.
With every attempt to suck in untainted oxygen, I was overwhelmed with an influx of stale air, littered with my own panicked exhales. Fear coursed through my body in a frantic pace I could not control. Everything in me was crying out for help, but I was forcibly being muffled. I was helpless. My body’s beckoning to escape manifested as exhaustion, fiery temps, and intense perspiration.
I gained some small semblance of strength and reached high, grasping the side of the deep, dark box my body became wedged inside. My strength quickly dissipated as my body slunk back down like a wet noodle because of the preceding struggle that had drained me of all my vigor and fight. Someone, something of extreme power and seeming authority, stood over me, pushing me back down with every last effort I made at breaking free, ensuring that with every attempt I would not find success in a breakaway. I collapsed again, falling deeper into the pit, the abyss that consumed and wrecked me. With each failed attempt at freedom, I felt more defeated and crushed.
Trapped and debilitated, my body conformed to the demands of this force I could not terminate or diminish. I had been robbed of my voice as each frantic attempt to cry out for help went unheard. I found myself gasping for air, focusing only on survival now. My vision grew blurry and my thoughts, no longer coherent. What was happening? I had believed myself to be stronger than this. In fact, I had believed in my own strength so much I could not reconcile this complete absence of power. How had I gotten here? What is this ‘thing’ that could have this kind of control over me?
Deflated, rejected, crushed, paralyzed, and powerless.
What now? How would I escape? This pressure, this unwelcome force had consumed me. What now?
Fortunately this description is not a direct reality for me. Although it’s not a direct reality, it does, however, emulate the imagery often painted in my mind of how it must physically feel to be trapped and restricted… much like it spiritually feels to be trapped and restricted… by other people’s expectations and desires for me and my life.
The box has been created, and unwanted expectations stuff me into it, stripping me of my own authenticity, of my own way, the story of my life. It’s something I can’t understand. Why? Why would anyone choose to do this to anyone else, especially those they love? Yet, I know it’s more often than not, entirely unintentional. This driving and guiding of other people’s lives comes from a space of fear and a need to control. It’s a near-sided point of view, and a death-grip on the steering wheel due to fear of what could happen if they were to let go. WHAT THEN?!?!
Sure, your loved ones may stumble around in millions of directions living a path you don’t understand and may not even be able to relate to, but in the end, it is still their path. My greatest desire is to live God’s will for my life, to follow His path and His path alone, but these feelings I write of are the images and flashes of emotions that I would catch a glimpse of every now and then prior to where I am now. You see, I used to allow all these expectations and desires of other people to shape me, drive me, and guide me, and it never felt right, it never felt whole. Do you know why it never felt right? No one else is capable of knowing your path. That is between you and God. Your path should be discerned and prayed about with your Father, your Creator. He should be the one with the steering wheel, and it’s up to you to try and figure out which direction He is driving you.
Although other people’s intentions are usually good, those other people are still not God. Others may offer good, necessary, and needed advice at times, but still those people ultimately are not God. A good friend, a good mentor, a good ally will always strive to point you to God, because it is with God where your individual answers lie. It is with God where the box is shattered. It is with God, where the force of other people’s expectations wither and die. When you are in deep communication with God, He will guide you, and the pressures and forces of the outside world will not be able to touch you or force you to be without Him.
I am sure in my lifetime I have inadvertently shoved people into a box as well, we all do at some point or another, and some of us are worse at it than others. I encourage you to take a step back, especially with those you love. Where are you pushing them, where are you shoving them, and why are you shoving them?
The pivotal mediator is found in the act of trusting. Where there is force, where there is fear, there is a lack in trust. Let go and trust in God. Trust Him in every moment of every day. Trust Him with your loved ones, trust Him with your heart, trust Him with your future, and trust Him right now. He is calling you to follow Him, to follow His most Divine and unique plan, created only for you. It’s not even possible for anyone else to know your calling and the infinite intricacies of your heart. Don’t you sometimes find it difficult to know even the urging of your own heart? How then would you ever be able to know the complete picture of another heart’s urgings? Do you want to be responsible for potentially leading another person astray from God’s most Divine plan for their life? The way they choose to live their life may not be comfortable for you, but no one else’s life is meant to be lived for your own satisfaction. When you get to the pearly gates how will you feel if and when you have to answer simple questioning of how you influenced the life path of your loved ones?
Every moment, every interaction counts. It’s all an opportunity for purification and sanctification. It’s all an avenue to grow in humility and character. You WILL NOT be able to live flawlessly, it’s not possible, but our desire to live good, holy lives should certainly be the aim, the goal, the ultimate purpose of life here on earth. Ironically, that desire to live a good, holy life will not shove you into the box that many think it does. Instead, it breaks you out of the box, and springs you forward, farther than you could ever imagine. Striving to live a good, holy life is where your greatest happiness lies. So do yourself a favor and focus on your journey first.Point people to God simply by the way you choose to live your own life and let God do the hard work.Click To Tweet
Choose love. Point people to God simply by the way you choose to live your own life and let God do the hard work. Let God steer the ship and control the transformations. If you trust in Him, you have nothing to worry about – for you or for your loved ones. Break out of the box, and allow others to break out of it too.