The box is elegantly wrapped with two layers of perfectly tied ribbon. It’s shiny and beautiful and creates a hushed, “what do you think could be in that beautiful package?”

Next to it, sits an obviously previously used, dented and taped at the corners box with a stick-on bow, slapped on the top.

Have you ever been invited to someone’s home, for the first time, and thought, “Wow, I can’t believe she lives in this amazing house” or “Wow, I can’t believe he lives in a place that looks like this (this being much less than awesome)”?

If so, those assignations were likely made based on how you perceived that human in person. You may have thought, “She has absolutely no sense of style, and what’s going on with that car she’s driving? I’m sure her house is a disaster” or “He’s so well-dressed, articulate and successful that he must live in a simply gorgeous home”.

Judgment, right? We, perhaps without even realizing it, put those people in labeled boxes.

The boxes we live in are:
• those we’ve created as we’ve evolved
• those we’re comfortable in because that’s the way we were raised
• those designed by other humans who say, “living in that box is the ‘right way’ to live”
• those we’re stuck in because we believe we have no other option

Sometimes we put ourselves in boxes, with giant labels that scream,
“don’t come near me”
“I’m not worth it”

We have boxes:
• where we hoard what we don’t want anyone else to know about,
• where we store the “acceptable” things of life—the stuff worth hanging onto,
• where we hide all the “junk” (physical and non-physical),
and, boxes:
• that showcase our outer appearance,
• that are filled with the burdens of this world,
• that are almost empty because we’re empty.

The boxes can be:
duct-taped together
new & organized
handed down & a mess
too big
too small
filled with only “fluffy” stuff
weighted down with the rocks of pain

We also put other people in boxes—a lot.

I’ve found that just as we “can’t tell a book by its cover”, we can’t assume that what we see—with our amazing gift of sight—is representative (often at all) of who others are. The box may be amazing—like the one with the shiny ribbon—but when you really see inside it, there’s only damaged, worn out stuff. Or, the box may look pretty-darned rough on the outside, but when you lift the falling-apart lid, you find an amazing gem.

You may not like the “box” that you’re in right now (job, situation, relationship, physical space) but, at this very moment, what you’re doing is creating your future. You are choosing continually. You may be able to choose a different box.

Many years ago, I had a prescient glimpse of my future if I “stayed the course” in a box designed by someone else. I chose to hold onto what was most important to me but that required pushing off the lid of the box I was in, and making a different choice. It was scary (I imagine that some of you have been in that very same place), but it was necessary.

We all need to embrace moving forward without the constraints of boxes we’ve been put—or kept—in, just as we have to not put others in boxes that don’t reflect who they are. We’re all worth that.

The box is elegantly wrapped with two colors of perfectly tied ribbon. It’s shiny and beautiful. Next to it is the dented and taped at the corners box with a stick-on bow, slapped on the top. We’ll never know what’s in each box, however, unless we take a chance and open it. kay

The Boxes We Live In

Twitter: @kaymclane
Instagram: @peace_full_home

©peace full home®/intentional living



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