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.