We are all creatures of habits. We learned it from our family, friends, society, culture, school, movies, books and the latest and the greatest now, the internet. One thing we forget on the way from school to adulthood is that we are packed with so many habits, patterns, concepts and rules, that we don't even know what we hold within.
There are so many unwritten rules, some of them are not even expressed verbally but through certain body language. We all know it and in the face of these we shatter our confidence and give in to them without us even being aware of the effects. How can this happen? How many parts of us are running automatic mind games on the game board? It is strange to notice these subtle movements from our friends or family members when we speak of something that they don't approve of. It happens automatically, and in many times we give in and shut out parts of us that want to express our selves, and parts of us that want to be free from these nonsensical dramas that we all play together.
Some of the these unwritten rules are in our unconsciousness, so when a thought that is amazingly freeing comes through, they are like invisible warriors building barricades. They come out of nowhere and threaten to destroy that creative thought from exploring.
These unwritten rules have now become the gate keepers that hold fear and are stopping our forward movement to something great that we all strive for. It might be something small or something grand that we wanted to do or be. The sudden thoughts that come up could be 'What will my parents think of me?' or 'What will my neighbors think of me?' Feel the sudden terror that comes with these feelings which make the dream immediately lose its footing.
The disapproval from a friend, family or neighbor is all that comes to our minds. 'Girls don't do that.' 'Boys don't do that.' 'Men don't cry.' What are all these rules that we are agreeing to so easily without a thought or without a fight? What if we couldn't read those un-written rules?
All these drag us down and create invisible prisons around us in so many layers and areas of our life. These prisons are like moulds around our multidimensional bodies. Some of these rules and patterns are so complicated that it is so hard for us to even figure out what we have got ourselves in to. Sometimes, there are too many of these prisons stored in one another with multi-layered patterns, like Russian dolls. All creating invisible walls around our freedom to think and freedom to be.
Who is pulling you down?
Sir Terry Pratchett, in one his books, talks about the idea crab bucket. 'Crabs are thick as planks,' says one of the characters in his story. The idea is that you don't need to keep the lid on the bucket they are in. Because, if anyone of them tries to get out of the bucket, the others grab on to that one and pull that one down. They never free themselves from the bucket and probably are unaware of the boiling water.
We are the crabs in this case. With our un-written rules, habits and patterns, we are holding ourselves as well as others down. For many of us, there is no need to have prisons to control us, we are creating our own prisons.