What can you expect when you’re working to increase your personal excellence?
You could come to the point where you want to exercise your independence of thought by taking the steps to purposefully change your mind and start thinking for yourself.
Break the chains that bind you.
I know that means different things to different people, but to summarize, the chains that bind you represent any of the things that hold you back from achieving our highest and best which have been imposed upon you from someone or something without your conscious consent.
This could be social programming which influenced the way you approach life since you were very young, starting with how your parents influenced how you would respond to life situations and circumstances.
There are so many levels of restraint which have been imposed upon you, if you could see yourself from outside yourself in a way so as to see your restraints represented visually, you wouldn’t even be able to see you underneath the pile of chains. It’s a wonder we can navigate the world at all.
You have the restraints placed upon you by your parents, by other members of your family, your friends, your caretakers, your teachers, exposure to media, celebrities, people who loved you, people who disrespected you, legislators, law enforcement, religious and thought leaders, organizations, higher learning, and consciousness… all of it, everything, influences you and shackles you in some way, holding you back from your highest potential.
For those of us, who are able to see through the muck and mire enough to get a sense of clarity, if only for a moment, might be able to see one or more of these restraints, and might be able to gather enough exterior consciousness to get the idea that you might be better off ridding yourself of this shackle.
Depending on the restraint and the circumstances associated with your becoming aware of it, it may be easier to identify and free yourself from it.
This is the easiest way to get started freeing yourself from the chains that bind you, though it can be tragic.
This happens when your attention is brought to keenly focus on something that you once believed to be true, and you are shocked when you realize that it was untrue and you were lied to all along. If that moment in time is tragic enough, you can easily find the strength within to break that chain and discard it.
Let’s take a look at an example using Santa Claus. There may have been a point in time in your life that you were under the impression or believed that there was a big old man put on a red and white suit and delivered gifts to good boys and girls all over the world while they slept.
And if you did believe in Santa, there’s a pretty good chance that at some point in your life, you came to the awareness that Santa was not real. (If you did believe and you did not have this experience, I sincerely apologize.)
But if this did happen to you, you became aware of the restraint that was put upon you, the lie. You can see that the whole setup of Santa and those ridiculous elves and the fear of possibly being on Santa’s naughty list, all was a cruel manipulation, to get you to respond in a particular way at a certain time of year.
When your world is instantly shattered, like that, it’s pretty easy to break the chain and discard it, but even in the breaking of that chain, there can be some trauma associated with the breaking of any chain.
Especially in these early childhood years, we learn to react in a way that disconnects and separates us from the people who participated in the proliferation of that which you once believed to be true. We judge them, assume they were acting maliciously (which they may have been) and kick them to the curb.
You lied to me!
And you see them as a bad person from then on.
When you are young and making your own way through life in the best way that you can, this is an effective way to in a sense keep yourself safe.
But as you mature and approach life in new expansive ways, you might be better off not throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Not harshly judging, applying a little empathy, compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, and love in any moment when you are awakened to an injustice, a truth you believed that may not be as true as you were led to believe, or awareness that things are not as they seem.
If you come to the place where you want to start discovering and breaking all the invisible chains that bind you, be aware that this is deep and uncomfortable work. It can be done alone but is best done with the assistance of a therapist, coach, or trusted third party who would have nothing to gain from your being shackled by.
It is a process which can be shocking and painful.
Once you are free from the chains that bind you (I do not know if there exists a point where you would totally be free from all these influences, completely), then you would truly be free, indeed.