The Cage...

Those who know me know that cable TV and I have a love hate relationship.  I love it because I can watch The Big Bang Theory and reruns of The Cosby Show and A Different World pretty much every day.  I hate it because there is so much attractive filth on the TV, which can cause me to be unproductive.  Lately I have trying to challenge myself to watching and even reading more material that causes me to think, that challenges me to dig deeper and inspires me. For this very reason, I am so grateful for OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network. Beyond Tyler Perry's meh shows and the reruns of Dr. Phil. I thoroughly enjoy what Auntie O has got going. I miss a lot of the "good" stuff because I haven't memorized the schedule but thank goodness for DVR. I selected an older episode of Life Class with TD Jakes and I am so glad I wasn't caught up watching something senseless like LAHH.

This particular Life Class was just what I needed to hear but I am not sure if I was ready to hear it. Bishop TD Jakes laid out the disparity between instinct and intellect and how one trumps the other.  Bishop Jakes shared lessons for unleashing the power of your instincts and explained how failing to do so can hold you back. And that is when I straight up on the couch and inclined my ear in anticipation of receiving much needed wisdom.  Bishop Jakes went on to use a caged lion as an example. He explained how prevailing instincts still lie under the surface just as they do for a caged lion that has never been in the wild. “If all of his experiences have been in the cage and that would be his natural habitat to him, then why do they lock the cage?” Good question. “They lock the cage because even though his experiences do not validate it, his instincts tell him there’s something else out there”. In that moment, I had to pause the show and take at least two deep breaths to really digest what the man just said. It was so profound and so relevant to what I have been feeling for quite some time now. Likewise, I have been feeling caged by my own experiences. I had not thought far enough to figure out why I have been feeling constricted by my own experiences but I know I do.  After watching this prolific episode there was one thing I knew for sure, well maybe a few things. I am not alone, other people feel this way.  The reason why many of us are exasperated is because we are pacing around in the cage of a job or a situation that has constrained us.  “We may not have the background for it, we may not have the training for it, but our instincts tell us, ‘I belong out there’” Yes, Yes, Yes!! This is exactly how I feel. I yelled at the top of my lungs, raising my hands as if was sitting on pew during Sunday morning service at The Potter’s House.

Most times I have a tendency to have an “If I don’t think about it, it just might go away” mentality about life. Who do I get that from?  It is so wrong. In actuality , “it” doesn't go away. It only grows to frustrate the longer it is not addressed. After watching and taking notes throughout this Life Class, I came to grips with something… I am afraid to die in the cage. I have been pacing in this hum drum cage for 7 years now. SEVEN YEARS!  

Frustrated may very well be an understatement. What is the word for beyond frustrated? Perturbed! That's it! I know that there are some things I want to do, I have started to do and things I long to start doing. I may not necessarily have all the experience or background I may think I need to accomplish these things but my instincts are telling me I belong out there. My instincts are telling me there is more than what is in the cage. But I have conditioned myself to completely rely on my intellect instead of acknowledging my instincts.

Relying solely based on intellect could be stunting my progress.  Failure to lend myself to my instincts and what my instincts are saying is only keeping me in the cage. We can give way to our instincts and allow them to help make us successful. What?! We can? Absolutely. Personally, I pay more attention to the negative what ifs as opposed to the positive ones. I am afraid of relying on my instincts. 

I can see out the cage. I think out of the cage all the time. It is time to do out of the cage. The steps may be small but I have figured out the problem with most of us is actually moving out of the cage. There is something that paralyzes us enough that we become comfortable remaining captive in the cage, rather it be a job or an unhealthy relationship… FEAR! We are afraid to move. We are afraid of what they infamous “they” might say. We are afraid of the uncertainty that comes with relying on you r instincts. Personally, I have been afraid of the responsibility.  If I do more outside of the cage I will be expected to always do more. People will be watching.  Yeah, so…

Ridding myself of fear is more than likely not the only step in learning to trust my instincts enough to get me out of the cage. However, I am almost positive that it is one of the foremost steps. If you can see out the cage, if you think out of the cage, it’s time to get your butt out of the cage.  I am now on a mission to learning how to rediscover my natural aptitude and reclaim the wisdom of my past experiences. I have declared not to allow fear of dying in the cage trump my desire and willingness to do what it takes to actually get out of the cage. I refuse to die in a cage I was never meant to be in in the first place.