Certain clichés have really been annoying me. They always have, but lately it’s like anytime any of them are used, its as if someone turns up the volume. Like nails on a chalkboard, they screech in my ear, and cause my inner spirit to shutter in disgust.
I guess its cuz you can’t really box the spiritual.
You can’t copyright life-essence.
You can’t capture the sea breeze in a container.
Maybe that’s why I don’t refer to myself as “Christian”. It’s just another cliché, with certain meanings and assumptions stuck to it like old, used bubble gum. I don’t even like referring to myself under my denomination’s name. Because it’s just another box, just another set of opinions, varying in different degrees depending on who you ask.
I have titles – so do you. But I don’t like these, either. More boxes. I am a woman. But what does that mean? It depends on who you tell that to – everyone has their expectations of what it means to be a woman. Some would say to be a woman means that I am feminine, (another box), or maybe feminist (another box), or that I need to dress a certain way, or practice a set of social norms that will bring me into the presence of other women, or be respected by men. More boxes.
I am a wife. But what does that mean? Once again, it depends on who you ask. More boxes. Some would say a wife means I need to cook, clean, have babies. And then if I were to become a mother, more boxes: will you keep working? Stay at home? where will your child get educated? How will you discipline? Etc. etc.
I work. I won’t tell you what my job is, because once again I will be squelching myself into a box. But for discussion’s sake, here goes: I am a “pastor”. Oh you know the boxes for this one just piled up! Not only are there boxes from society, but even within my own denomination, not to mention the box just got smaller because of my gender, and I could go on and on.
Why do we create boxes? I guess they are necessary, to a certain extent. I guess they help with communicating with others who we are and where we are coming from. It’s important to know that I am female, and what my age is, my ethnicity, etc. I guess? But perhaps the problem comes when we view the world through the boxes we’ve created or experienced. When we peg others and place them within the confounds of our viewpoints…our boxes.
But have you ever tried to catch the wind in a glass jar?
Have you ever cupped the brilliance of a sunset in your palms?
Have you ever formulated the butterflies in your stomach when you first fall in love into an equation?
Have you ever manufactured the pain of your tears into a concoction that others can taste?
Why do we create boxes? I’m so tired of them. Aren’t you? Or are we so used to them that they define our society and our very reality that we can’t even see them anymore? Are boxes based on truth? Or could it be that they are formulated ways to deal with our own fears and insecurities? Think about this: How much of your reality do you have to explain by using box-terms or clichés?
Have you experienced outside-the-box living? How? What are the boxes you feel or experience? What are the boxes you place others in?
The next couple of blog posts I will be divulging more on this topic. But do share: how do you live outside the box? Because remember: breath is an ongoing process of life, and if at any time it is boxed, you will begin to suffocate. To live means to leave the confines of the box.
2 thoughts on “Outside the Box”
It’s difficult to live outside the box routinely in this high tech, high stress society, but I have found two favorite out of the box life experiences: Sleeping late without guilt and/or shame and avoiding Facebook involvement.
Another of my favorite out of the box life experiences is doing dishes manually rather than via dishwasher. It warms my painful arthritic hands, but more than that, it allows quiet thinking time to ponder challenges and problems, and often brings solutions to both! And last but not least, when I do take the time to live outside the box, I am more comfortable with who I am becoming in Christ Jesus.