The Cage

Taking a million steps on the Camino de Santiago allowed me to push every boundary of comfort.  I walked 500 miles in a foreign country, slept in rooms full of the world’s finest snorers, ate a new diet, learned to communicate through stick drawings, and divorced my cell phone.  I arrived in  Spain with a mind full of apprehension, survived the test of each situation, and returned with confidence that there is infinite happiness on the other side of comfort.

Staying inside the bubble is convenient and comfortable.  This sphere is defined by the mind and you decorate the interior with beautiful memories from yesterday and dreams of a brighter future.  The boundaries create a finite world in an infinite universe.  A feeble attempt to control the uncontrollable.  There are three distinct options.  1. Stay inside.  2.  Expand the size of the bubble to create a larger comfort zone.  3.  Pop the bubble and live in a world without self-imposed fear.

To insure safety, we build a mental moat to shield ourselves from the threats of the outside world.  On this island, we play the role of judge and jury for all events that happen.  More time spent stranded just reinforces how great life is on this lonely and tiny piece of real estate.  Walking to the edge and thinking about a leap to the other side stirs up all type of fear and insecurity.  If someone throws a rock into our calm water from the other side, we reinforce the wall, defend our solitude, and prepare for war.  One shore represents safety, perfection, and goodness.  The other is wrong, bad, and filled with danger.

The moat may be your job, a relationship, or a bank account.  At some point in time, the natural world will destroy the barriers.  You get fired, she cheats on you, or the stock market crashes.  Chaos ensues and every waking moment is spent rebuilding the walls and pouring water into the circular canal.  Why wait for the event to throw you into such an unpleasant state of being.  What happens if you de-moat yourself?

The moat eventually transforms from a bastion of safety to a cage.  All animals know the edge because of the physical bars.  The mind knows the precise location of each bar and changes your emotions when you get too close.  Like an electronic collar on a dog’s invisible fence.  Get to close and discomfort shocks the system.

There is a bit of pain associated with letting the water out, but infinite undiscovered territory is on the other side.