Danger, Hamster Wheels and Development

Part I—Danger

Through the course of evolution, our brains have moved away from cave-men/women mindsets of always being hyper-vigilant—thinking that there’s likely danger right around the corner waiting to destroy us. Some of us, however, never evolve past that—we’re still expecting the next “terrifying thing” to come barreling at us, so we’re unable to ever simply be.

When we’re always afraid and on high alert, we miss some important—often critical—parts of life. (This is very different from the estimated 13 million people in the U.S. suffering from PTSD.)

Of course, there are going to be some “scary things” nearby. Of course, we won’t always be able to protect ourselves—there will be “predators” in some of our lives (and people who don’t believe we can defeat them).

But (and this is important) you deserve to honor your value, and figure out a way to live into your best self by stepping away from the fear and stepping into the light.

Part II—Hamster Wheels

Did you ever observe a hamster on a wheel, running around and around, never getting anywhere yet continuing on the same path? That’s because hamsters simply love to run. (Yep, I did research on this.)

Unlike those little rodents (the hamsters), we humans (most of whom don’t like to run) often get stuck on hamster wheels of our own. Let’s call them “human wheels”. The wheels we keep running on look like: stress, preoccupation with our looks, keeping up with other people, anxiety, competition, workloads, loneliness, and a bunch of other “less-thans”.

We go around and around, trying to make things “better”. Those wheels make us dizzy and exhausted and, in the end, having us wondering, “what the heck was all of this about?

Part III—Development

A few months ago, I wrote about character development.  Often, our “characters” suffer from arrested development—looking like we’re grown-up; even having jobs, families, and responsibilities, but, on the inside, being stuck in childhood.

This usually isn’t by choice. Something (trauma, lack of love, not having a role model to show you how to grow up) was missing—something critical in healthy development. Often those folks are running from danger—although not the kind that moves through life on four legs—or running in circles like those hamsters.

We portray ourselves in ways that make sense to us; amalgamations of all of the experiences we’ve had—all the joy, all the pain, all the success, all the failure, all of life to this point. It’s not necessarily the way God sees us though. It’s not the reality of us at our core—spirit beings, stuck in clunky bodies with three-pound brains.

So, today’s questions for all of us are:
Will we choose to stop running—from predators (human and non-human)?
Will we decide that some of the endless wheels we run on really aren’t getting us anywhere except exhausted?
Will we choose to understand that where we are right now, is a product of where we’ve been?
Will we dig down deep and figure out that we’re good just the way we are, even if our development has been thwarted in some way?
Will we choose to make peace with it?

I first wrote the questions above starting with “Can we” not “Will we”, but realized that we can make those choices. The question really is will we make those choices.

Running...always runningfrom danger,from predators,from pain

Blog: peacefullhome.com
Twitter: @kaymclane
Instagram: @peace_full_home
Facebook: facebook.com/kayspeacefullhome

©peace full home®/intentional living


4 thoughts on “Danger, Hamster Wheels and Development

  1. Pingback: Miscellaneous Thoughts on an October Day | peace full home®—intentional living

  2. Yep, I’m very familiar with the hamster wheel! I’ve been stuck there many a time. It takes a conscious effort to get off and do things differently. Thanks for the insight.


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