We Have Options Inside This Trap

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I think that it is often a sign of life being pretty good for people if they see themselves as mostly in control of what happens to them. This can backfire for many, because when the unexpected happens, they aren’t just disappointed by the effects of a challenge, they are also aghast: THEY are in control, THEY are never caught offguard. It can shift someone’s entire worldview.

Why would I know all this? I’m this person. With my to-do lists and my plans and my future dreams, I’m the girl who thinks she’s in control and who loses her mind when something makes her feel trapped.

In the context of marriage, Husband and I have been talking about this. After all, there are many things we have to decide together now, and some of those decisions don’t go my way. What I’m realizing lately is the title of this post, and it has been so helpful: We have options inside this trap.

I fixate on being trapped, on finding ways to get free or get my way. Truth is though: it’s all a trap. If I get out of this one, there will be others. Here, trap just means inescapable realities – I have to go to work, I have to get medical attention, I have to fulfill my promises in my marriage, my family, and my friendships. But that’s just the thing: these traps are also the things that make our lives so meaningful. I’m not actually happy when I’m free; I’ve had times in life where there were no obligations, no people who needed or wanted things from me. It’s not really a goal worth striving for.

Not only are we never really out of the trap, the trap is also usually more than just one option. We have things we can do within them: if something turns out to be wrong, or not what we need, we can mitigate it.

I know this is all incredibly vague, but lately, I’ve just been grappling with how many things are now decided in my life: marriage, home and place of residence, work trajectory, and much of my future, it seems. But I have to remember that all of those things are just plans: some of them will change, some will grow and become things I could never dream of. There are options in here, even on this fairly defined railway track.

9 Comments, RSS

  1. Liv Miles September 20, 2017 @ 12:54 pm

    Insightful post. It’s amazing how even the obligations that we treasure – promises to our family, friends, even ourselves – can feel like shackles sometimes. Everything in life has this strange duality. It’s almost as stressful as not having any responsibilities at all, which would be far worse. 🙂

  2. Our Small Moments Matter September 20, 2017 @ 3:33 pm

    This is so true. Many times in my life I have felt trapped in my obligations. I feel like I am stuck with no options. But in reality I always have choices and I have choices inside those traps. Circumstances change and sometimes I end up missing the obligations from a different time in my life.

  3. My Way Home Life September 20, 2017 @ 4:11 pm

    I have discovered the truth of this saying: Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. It took a while for me to accept and even embrace this. There are also seasons in life, and I have had to limit time spent on my own hopes and dreams during the season of raising and educating my kids. I tried to “do it all” at one point and ended up feeling frustrated and discontent, not doing anything well. Not a healthy way to live!

  4. craftschronicillnessandadulting September 20, 2017 @ 6:49 pm

    Great post! I have to believe most people feel a little trapped somewhere in their lives. Each day you really do have a choice though. Sometimes just knowing that choice exists is very freeing.

  5. elisaleduey September 20, 2017 @ 8:35 pm

    I love your way of thinking. Reading this post, I feel like you have just put some light on some feelings that I had without being able to explain them. Thank you !

  6. chloevsworld September 22, 2017 @ 5:04 am

    Really good post. I also feel like I’m always trying to “get out of the trap” but I hate being in full control too, it scares me. Us humans are pretty weird haha.

  7. (b)ananartista SBUFF September 22, 2017 @ 11:30 am

    so insightful !

  8. boozilla September 22, 2017 @ 3:11 pm

    thank you so much for the follow! i appreciate it a lot..and as for control? as i get older i realize control is pretty much limited to how one responds in any given instant….i’m happier now that i’ve given up thinking i’m controlling anything and there’s more room in the cranium for actual decisions and present moment attention. ( even if i’d rather have a bag over my head most of the time these days what with Everything!)

  9. todgermanica September 25, 2017 @ 5:35 pm

    I love maps too, I covered the bare sheetrock garage walls with maps and airplanes. Yes, we are trapped by social, family and work obligations, but they make our life meaningful. You can lack many things in life and thrive, but not meaning.
    And we are condemned to freedom. You must choose every second what you will do. You must like it or you wouldn’t do it. No one can make you do something you don’t want to do. At any moment we can and must change and adapt in order to live fully. Therefore live for this instant, it is all we are granted.

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