It has been nearly one year since we’ve been living inside the box known as the COVID-19 quarantine. And while the initial restrictions brought about by the pandemic have eased somewhat, we are still very much stuck inside, longing for the days when we can move freely around the cabin of life and get back to “normal.”
We have spent the past year living inside our homes, working from home, teaching our kids from home, learning from home, and fixing or replacing the myriad of things that have broken down or worn out thanks to stay-at-home overuse.
This has kicked nostalgic longings for mask-free dining, hugging friends, and travel into high gear. It has also given those patient enough to notice the silver lining time to look inside our souls, minds, and hearts and ponder life’s big questions.
Questions such as:
What’s so wrong with the box that everyone thinks we should think out of it?
“Normal” as we once knew it is still beyond our reach. Perhaps we will never be normal again. So maybe it’s time to take a look at the tired, old phrase of “thinking outside the box” and look around inside to see the treasures that lie within.
Breaking Down the Walls
To think outside the box means to break the bonds of the status quo, the mental prison that limits our ability to acknowledge our power and live the purpose for which we were created.
“That’s great! Let’s go.” you say as you kick down the walls of stagnation and step out into the fresh air of possibilities.
Hold on a minute.
Thinking outside the box also implies abandoning everything that’s inside. And while leaving behind the pain and frustrations that have kept us trapped inside, we also leave behind the lessons and wonders that have gotten us this far.
We are then in danger of creating a new box with the same limiting beliefs that kept us from going anywhere.
Two years ago, I knocked down the walls of alcohol consumption and entered the box of sober curiosity. It was liberating. And, oh, so sweet!
I jumped out of Total Wine & More and into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. I no longer drank alcohol, but Willy became my BFF. We packed the pantry with dark chocolate (because, after all, it was heart healthy), and used the mid-afternoon sugar crash as an excuse to devour bon bons by the bagful.
I had given up booze, but had forgotten to take with me the lesson of how to ditch a bad habit. Once I realized this, I ran back to the old box, left Willy there to fend for himself, and grabbed bananas, grapes, and a bunch of berries to sustain me through the rest of my journey.
My mind, my mood—and let’s be honest here—my mid-section are all the better for it.
This is just one small example of how throwing the contents of the old box away can hurt you in the long run.
Thinking outside the box is an adventure. But embarking on an adventure just because crowd mentality tells you to do so, leaves you unprepared for the obstacles you may face along the road.
It might be a little chilly outside the box, so grab a jacket before you venture out.