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Explorations and Reflections

on awakening the true self 

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  • Writer's pictureMick Scott

Moving Beyond Our Spiritual Cage

Free-spirited.


That’s what most of our young people are. Their energy, vitality, self-expression, and freedom - it's undeniable.


Then, as they get older, we see the doors closing for them in their own minds.


By the time we get through high school, most of us have formed our core identity, the person we’ve become.

That’s just how it goes, right? The free spirit gets caged.


Why? Because it’s dangerous out there! Life is demanding! Responsibility is heavy, deep, and real!

We think that it’s the external world - life and its responsibilities, challenges, and demands - that cages the human spirit. We think that it’s our circumstances that have permanently caged our spirit.


But this cage isn’t built from the material of the world. This cage isn’t built from what’s happened to us or how we were treated. This cage isn’t a result of our circumstances.


This cage isn’t an inevitability.

This cage isn’t even real. It’s an illusion. It’s a mental model of reality that we’ve constructed in response to feelings of insecurity, fear, jealousy, and self-consciousness.

When we were 4 years old and got yelled at. When we were 9 years old and the adult didn't show up. When we were 14 and a group of kids laughed at how we looked. When we were 17 and we said “yes” when we should've said “no.”


At each impactful point, we constructed another wall of our spiritual cage.


For most of us, our cage has 3 or 4 core walls. It keeps us in an unsatisfying job. It limits our self-expression in our relationships. It dilutes our willingness to try. It numbs our ability to love.


We say that “Youth is wasted on the young,” but many of us are letting our own power and possibility of adulthood go to waste.


Now, when we feel emotionally uncomfortable, vulnerable, anxious, scared, worried, or insecure, we back up. We realize we’ve gotten close to the edges of our cage, so we recoil.


We point to the circumstances of our life and say that they’re the problem...


We point to the people in our lives and say that they’re making us emotionally uncomfortable...


We point to ourselves and say it’s our own insufficiencies limiting us...


...because we’ve forgotten that we constructed the cage ourselves.


In moments of insecurity, fear, jealousy, and self-consciousness, we directed our own spiritual energy to build walls of being to protect ourselves…

To not make the same mistakes again.


To not let other people close enough to be a threat.


To not attempt what we might fail at attempting.

To not relax when we’re feeling threatened.

To work ourselves ragged to prove ourselves.

What if there’s another take on this cage? What if it doesn’t need to be constraining, but instead could itself be liberating? What if instead of backing off when we reach the edges, we gently lean forward?

A Gift and a Challenge

The cage is a gift. It’s a gift from our former selves to our current and future selves.

You see, in moments of distress, we created the cage. We constructed our cage out of self-love and self-compassion - we did it to protect ourselves. We designed our cage to keep us safe for the rest of our lives.


We constructed a spiritual cage because we never learned how to be whole, complete, safe, and well without the cage. We thought we needed to protect our spirit from failure, from disappointment, from other people's emotions, from our own scary and painful emotions.


So when we feel ourselves bumping into our cage and we feel its discomfort, when we feel the anxiety of reaching its edges and we feel our fear of the unknown beyond it, we are at our perfect point to grow.


Those are the places our spirit is kept caged and is no longer free. Those are the areas where our spirit is beckoning us to grow, expand, relax, and transform. Those are the limitations our past selves imposed on our current self, and it's up to us to move beyond them.


These situations are the access to freeing our spirit, unburdening our minds, and loosening the limitations on our emotions.


These situations point the way to leveling up who we are being in our lives.


Our cage isn't out there. Our cage is in here. It's made from the energy of our psyche - our minds, our bodies, and our spirit.


And we can move beyond the walls of this illusory cage. We can step into the space beyond the cage. We can love, give, feel, receive, create, experience, and accomplish beyond the self-imposed constraints of our cage.


This is what our soul yearns to do.


Wake up to what's actually happening; step up and own the role you've played and the role you have the potential to play; and liberate your spirit and the spirt of those you care about.


Thanks so much for engaging with my work. 🙏❤️


P.S. If you're ready to say "Yes" to moving beyond the constraints of your self-made cage into a new realm of freedom, empowerment, and possibility, reach out and let's explore how working together can help you do exactly that.

 

My deepest gratitude to the many teachers and guides I've experienced in my life who have modeled, inspired, and taught me to go beyond the walls of my own cage. Most recently, thanks to Michael A. Singer, Byron Katie, and Joseph Bailey for so clearly articulating the nature of our cage and our innate capacity to move beyond it.

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