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Fear Cages

We were taught as children to be aware of dubious situations, strangers, and unfamiliar animals. Of course this was a good thing, because this was one method your parents used to keep you safe. Children don’t have the discernment to know what is deserving of fear and what is not. And they are usually fearless about new and exciting adventures. Thus, it is necessary for the adults in their life to set strong boundaries of safety.

However, if you as an adult continue to feel a need to distance yourself from all that is unfamiliar because it could possibly be dangerous, you will find yourself locked in childhood-sized “fear cages.” And since the goal of adulthood is to expand your horizons, you must learn how to open yourself to what, as a child, was off limits. This isn’t to say that every stranger needs to be pulled to your bosom, nor does every new situation need to become an adventure. But unless you at least consider stepping beyond your childhood fears, you will grow-up only your body. Your mind and emotions will stay trapped in childhood fear cages, and your heart will be required to remain within those boundaries.

By accepting that adulthood is an ever-expanding state, you will be able to take a step away from the cages of fear that were put in place for safety in your childhood. What as a child seemed like a dubious situation can, as an adult, become a learning opportunity.

An American proverb states, “Don’t judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes.” That is a handy reminder to help you step away from rigid fear pictures concerning differences in people. Another tool that might help you step beyond fear cages around new situations is to imagine yourself being capable and feeling confident in the situation before you actually confront it. Talking to people who have mastered what is to you still a scary unknown place can also help. Use whatever tools works for you, but never let differences stand in your way of growing up.