All this month I have been writing about "Living Free" in all sorts of ways. But how do we live free if we are TRAPPED?! We can be trapped in our families, in our jobs and even just in ourselves. How does a person live free when they feel the walls are closing in tighter and tighter? I believe at one time or another all of us have felt this way about something in our lives. The best I can do is share what helped me.
Attitude is Everything - When you are stuck in a situation or phase of your life that you can't change, it is very hard not to dwell on how powerless you feel, however, looking for the good in ANY and EVERY situation truly does help you feel free. I have read stories about those who were in prison camps with so little hope of survival, how they would think of the good things in their lives, rest in their faith or even imagine a better life each day and how they survived their ordeals and went on to live full lives. I can't imagine the desperation they must have felt, but, it was that survival instinct and attitude to LIVE that helped keep them going. How often do we let such small things (comparatively speaking) take us to the depths of depression and allow it to make us feel hopeless?! If we keep our attitude always looking for the good, even when it seems impossible, we will always be free in our spirit.
Live Your Life in Moments - One way to tackle a situation in which you feel trapped in is to get through it one day or moment at a time. Once when I was in a situation that was devastating and I really was struggling with facing things every day. I would spiral out and worry about all sorts of things in the future and each day was a struggle to get through. One day as I was pouring out my fears and hurts to a friend at the end of a horrible and long day, they said this to me "tomorrow is a new day". I probably commented something negative about how it probably would be as bad as today, but, they repeated that to me and told me to just let go of today and start again tomorrow and just take things one day at a time. That simple statement truly changed my life from that time on until now. It's a statement that actually helped me learn to be able to just go to bed on those types of days and do my best to let go; even if I just had to repeat that sentence in my mind over and over until I could believe it. If we can get through one day or moment at a time, we can manage anything and if we can manage anything, then we are free from whatever is trying to hold us down.
Change What You Can - Another thing I have leaned on when I had a situation that I felt "trapped" in is to change whatever else I can change in my life that is beneficial! Sometimes they are little things. For instance: recently my husband has had to travel for work and I truly hate it when he is gone. However, I try to think of things I can do to make the time go faster until he is home again. It might be cleaning something. I might be work things I have been putting off or it may be something simple like binge watching a show that he doesn't watch with me! This works for the bigger things, too. In fact, I have noticed that I have done this when I wasn't even thinking. I have super cleaned something when I was angry or anxious, I got through the time when I was getting divorced and my mother was sick by walking each day and my obsession with making lists for everything I do is another way to have control in my life and be able to change something. Focus on something you CAN change, when there is something bigger that has you trapped.
Choose Joy - The last thing that has helped more and more through the years is when I have made a conscience decision to be happy. If I am feeling down or trapped in something, I choose to put positive and good things in my path. I do my best to eliminate outside influences that might make me sad, down or anxious and I dwell on all the people and things that bring joy to my life. I work on positive self talk. I work on positive OUTWARD talk when I am talking to others and even if something bad keeps happening, I will continue to try to look for the good and be happy about that, but it takes effort. You won't always just feel joy, especially if you are trapped in a rough situation. This means you will have to choose to be happy regardless.
I will be honest with you. Even practicing all of these things, there are times I still feel trapped, alone and like I have no control or freedom in my life, however, those moments don't last for days or weeks like they have in the past. I practice having a good attitude (even if I fail), I change those things I can and I push myself to see the silver lining and the happiness in life. I have to say, I feel more free than I ever have in my life--and that is truly the best feeling in the world.
Until Next Time!
Jen Lush, Associate Broker and Mother of Managing Broker