Living in the Prison of Freedom

“You’re still in prison if you do nothing better in freedom.” ― Toba Beta, Master of Stupidity

There is a story about elephants and their owners in Africa. (Refer Link)

An elephant can easily uproot huge trees with its trunk. It can knock down a house without much trouble. When an elephant living in captivity is still a baby, it is tied to a tree with a strong rope or a chain every night. It is the nature of elephants to roam free, thus the baby elephant instinctively tries with all his might to break the rope. But it isn’t yet strong enough to do so. Realizing his efforts are of no use, it finally gives up struggling. The baby elephant tried and failed many times, it will never try again for the rest of his life.
Later, when the elephant is fully grown, it can be tied to a small tree with a thin rope. It could then easily free itself by uprooting the tree or breaking the rope. But because its mind has been conditioned by its prior experiences, it doesn’t make the slightest attempt to break free. The powerfully gigantic elephant has limited its present abilities by the limitations of the past—hence called, the Baby Elephant Syndrome.

Unlike the elephant in the story, she knows she is free. She is free to do or be anything her heart desires but she is still bound by self limitations, conditions set by some outside forces (read: society) & some heart wrenching experiences in her past.

She is free to make her own choices but they have to be taken as soon as possible. She is free to do as she wishes but just for the next year of her life. She is free to work where she wishes to, but just until she gets married, then she needs to leave everything & follow her “partner for life”.

She has so many amazing qualities, just like the grown up elephant in the story does but the power of herself limiting beliefs prevail over all her good qualities & stops her from doing the things that she knows are best for her, the things that would make her happy.

One of the biggest factors that stop her from living is Fear. Fear to do something beyond what the society expects of her, Fear of going against the society, Fear of Failure, Fear of being left behind, Fear that the society would tell her that they were right all along, Fear that her time has run out, Fear that she would be left all alone in this world.

Instead of trying to do something that would benefit her & make her happy & proud, she settles for things that are mediocre. Some part inside of her always thinks, is this it? Is this why she was sent to this beautiful planet? Is this her life purpose?

She lives in a prison of her own freedom.

The only way she can break free from this prison is to find the strength to fight those beliefs that have been ingrained in her since her childhood. She needs to be aware of her weaknesses & not let them stop her from being the best person she can become.

Humans are exactly like the elephant except for one thing — she can choose not to accept the false boundaries and limitations created by the past. (Refer Link)

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