Habits of thought and habits of false beliefs can imprison us. Many times, we aren’t even aware of the habits, much less their sentence of imprisonment. Awareness of the habitual thoughts and false beliefs is the first step to freedom. Sometimes, that’s all that’s needed.
In her book, The Secret Lives of Bees, author Sue Monk Kidd describes how the main character, Lily, is swarmed at night by bees that have set up residence in the walls of her bedroom. Lily captures the bees in a lidded mason jar and keeps them there for for several days. When she opens the lid, she is surprised to discover that the bees are so accustomed to their captivity that they will not fly out of the jar, no matter how much she taps on or rotates the jar. The captive bees are an analogy for Lily’s life with an abusive father. Warned by the bee’s strange behavior, she escapes from her father to find a new life with a trio of beekeeping sisters in a distant town.
Too often, we are imprisoned by limiting thoughts and beliefs that restrain us from taking wing and reaching our full potential. Do you hear an inner voice that says you aren’t good enough, or you have to work really hard to prove your worthiness, or you always have to do what you are told, or that you must please everyone or that you will never be smart/pretty/rich/thin enough? These demon voices inside us imprison us like the bees in the mason jar. Even when there is substantial evidence to the contrary, these false beliefs compel us to crawl around the inside of the jar, living small, closed-in lives.
Living big is all about recognizing the limitations of those false beliefs, taking the lid off the jar and flying free.
What do you want to do with your life but are afraid to try? What would you do if success was a given? What is keeping you imprisoned in a jar?