If you have the sense of being trapped in some way in your life, here is a creative meditation that leads to an experience of freedom.
Bring to mind a recent experience in which you have had a perception of being trapped. It could be an experience of a job or a relationship, or a place where you are living. Or any other circumstance in which you have a perception of something confining. And oftentimes, if you dig deeper, you find it’s not just this job or this place or this relationship—there is a pattern in your life that is repeating. Ultimately it is that repeating pattern of experience that is the trap.
Having brought this experience to mind, consider this: If you knew how you got into the experience of feeling trapped, you would know how to be free of it.
This is about becoming conscious of what brought you to that experience in the first place. So think about your experience and your circumstance. What brought you into it in the first place? If you can allow yourself to become aware of your original intention, without self-judgment, you are on a path to freedom.
If you get back far enough to the original motivation you had for entering any circumstance in which you feel trapped, you will find that there was a creative reason for it. And if you have not found that creative reason, it is only because you have not gone far enough to find it. For instance, your perception of being trapped may be in relationship to another person. Does anyone enter into a relationship for no good reason at all? In back of all relationships there is always a primal need to connect with other people and to confirm the reality of love we feel inside ourselves as human beings. Whatever may have become confused and difficult along the way, in back of it is the beauty and rightness of the desire to connect.
Does anyone ever accept a job for no good reason at all? Or does anyone move someplace without any creative reason for moving there? Whatever the experience is that you find yourself in the midst of, find that creative reason, and then explore and appreciate it deeply. Appreciate who you are as a person who has that kind of creative motivation.
Mixed in with those very creative reasons, there could have been some very bad reasons too. Getting conscious of that without self-judgment is freeing. At the time you entered the circumstance, you may not have allowed yourself to be fully aware of your motivation in the matter. Or, in retrospect, you may realize that the values you held at the time were not what your values are today. Or that you went about trying to fulfill a creative intention in a most unwise way.
As human beings, we often hide awareness. We sometimes keep awarenesses in a subconscious state. It is often said that when you embark on a journey, if you knew or allowed yourself to know where that journey was going, you would never leave home. All the challenges and setbacks! Have you ever set out on a journey that went just the way you thought it was going to go? That’s not how most journeys go, and that’s not how life happens. For us, as human beings, we play a part in being unaware of the difficulties of the journey as we begin. We don’t know and we don’t want to know. Oftentimes, we are deliberately unconscious. There may be motivations that we have that we don’t even tell ourselves about. But getting conscious about all those things means we understand how we got into the trap. And if you know how you got in, you now know how you get out.
As you think about the particular circumstance in which you have a sense of being trapped, you may want to step back and ponder your life journey. How did you get into this? Do you think that if there was an awakened awareness now of how you got into this human life, things might be different? If you knew that you made a conscious choice to incarnate in the flesh, that you did it for a great purpose, that you had a reason for doing it, that you knew that you were incarnating into a body of humanity that is spiritually asleep, and that you incarnated to bring light, would that change your experience of feeling trapped?
There are other factors related to our incarnation—factors related to our childhood and our development. There are things that happened in which other people played a part. Part of getting conscious is becoming aware of how we were complicit in not being awake. As a child, as an infant, as a young person growing up, how else would it be? We have little choice but to be complicit. But do you think that becoming consciously aware of that now could change how we relate to the ways that we end up feeling trapped in our lives?
That may be a hard thing to face. It is hard to face how parents or teachers, and others who were supposed to be our elders, may have been unconscious. And it is hard to face how we ourselves were complicit in that state of unawareness. But by being willing to be aware, we are saying yes, I am willing to be conscious now. You cannot go back there and be conscious back there, but you can be conscious now. You can embrace that you chose to incarnate as a member of the body of humanity that is spiritually unconscious. You can embrace the spiritual reality, which is what being conscious is all about. And being conscious now, you are free.
Feeling trapped comes from living a life that is defined by factors you cannot control. The factors that we may not be able to directly control as human beings are the external factors of circumstance—your job, the place where you live or your relationship, or any other circumstantial factors. Becoming free is becoming conscious that you deliberately entered those circumstances and that, somewhere along the way, you came to value the external physical factors in your life more than the reality that you sought to manifest through those factors. In other words, physical values became more important than spiritual values.
The difference between physical values and spiritual values is subtle, but it marks the difference between being truly alive and truly free—and being trapped. It is the difference between valuing having a house and valuing being at home. Being at home, you can have a house, and that can be part of being at home. But having a house is not the same as being at home. And if you think you can be at home just because you have a house, you may be headed for a learning experience.
It can be wonderful to be in relationship. But being in relationship is not the same as knowing love. And if your supreme value is your relationship, you are ready for an awakening experience. If you know love, you can know love in relationship, you can embody that love in relationship, you can see that love in another person, you can see it in their eyes and share it with them. But if your supreme value is relationship, you may be headed for a learning experience.
People want security of all kinds. We have gated-communities security, we have old-age-pension security, we have good-job security. We have relationship security—it’s called a pre-nup. That kind of security is not the same thing as being safe in the arms of God. That kind of security cannot substitute for knowing you are safe. You can be safe in the arms of God and have physical security, but there is a big difference between the two. To be free, to be truly alive, you have to know the difference and you have to practice the difference.
This is practical spirituality, which leads us to value spiritual things first, and then in valuing them, to know that they manifest in physical form—and probably not quite the way we want them to, or expected them to, unless your life is very different from mine. The way they manifest is left in the hands of the Creator. They do manifest. Spiritual values are the most powerful way to manifest, because if you are truly being at home, you will create a home around you. You will come home and have a home. If you truly know love, you will have relationship. And if you are having an experience of being safe in the arms of God, you will have security.
How about accomplishment? The desire for accomplishment can be a cruel master. It can lead to burnout, the lack of being present, and the lack of being at peace. Accomplishment without fulfilling your mission, your reason for being alive, is a cruel master. And there is a big difference between accomplishment and fulfilling your mission. If you are fulfilling the reason why you are in the flesh, why you came here this time, the things that you do have meaning. They are filled with the substance of that mission and of that purpose. But if your primary god is accomplishment, you will be a very unhappy man or woman, because accomplishment is hollow if you are not fulfilling your mission.
These are real spiritual values: being truly at home, knowing love, knowing you are safe and fulfilling your mission in life. Being free is knowing that we entered our life, and all the circumstances of our life, to manifest these realities. They are inherent realities that become real to us simply because we embrace them, and in embracing them, they can manifest.
When a person has real spiritual values, they have the courage to see how they have walked into unconsciousness and why. They can see how they got trapped. And the way out becomes clear. In fact, they realize that they are free. They know the pure, original intention of their incarnation.