Community//

How to Get Out of Your “Cage”

Just Decide to Walk Out

Yep, that’s me with my beautiful two-year-old grandson, Emory, posing inside a shark cage during a recent visit to the Virginia Living Museum in Newport News, Virginia. I had a fantastic day with my daughter, son-in-law and Emory as we explored this fabulous museum and enjoyed a weekend getaway to Williamsburg. My daughter and I were exchanging the dozens (OK, maybe dozens and dozens) of photos we’d taken and this one stood out.

Like many families, ours has been under stress lately and this mini vacation gave us the space to take a breath. Relax. Do something different. Have FUN.

As I looked at the photos of our adventure, this one stopped me in my tracks. I suddenly understood a truth I’d forgotten in the stress of the past few weeks. It was so apparent as I gazed at this picture.   

The stress we’d been experiencing was a “cage” created by our thoughts. Yes, we’d lived through a tough family situation, the trauma was real. However, as I looked at this photo, I realized that after we acknowledged and dealt with the event, only our thoughts kept the drama of the situation alive.

Emory and I had walked through the open side of this shark cage to take a goofy picture. And we walked out. Because he’s only a toddler, we walked in and out a few times.

Just like that shark cage, I realized I’d “walked in and out” of the cage I’d created in my mind a few times. More than once, I’d forgotten the side was open and I could walk out of this cage anytime I changed the way I thought about the situation. I realized I could get out of my “cage” anytime I wanted.

The things you learn on vacation….

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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