“Most people talk about fear of the unknown, but if there is anything to fear it is the known.” Chopra
You know . . . there’s truth to that. Not long ago, I watched the movie Room. It’s about a mother and her son, Jack, who are confined to a shed they call “Room.” Jack’s mother was abducted by a man when she was seventeen. Two years later Jack is born. “Room” is the entirety of his world until they escape shortly after he turns five.
The world outside of Room is foreign to Jack. Even though he has an abundance of new people and experiences at his disposal, he would occasionally ask his mom if they could go back. That tiny world—including fewer freedoms—possessed a powerful gravitational pull.
The good ole status quo offers the security of the familiar. It surrounds us with predictability.
Jack mirrors our natural resistance to change, even if it would be to our advantage. Let’s face it, the familiar often wins out, whether it’s staying glued to an unfulfilling occupation, an unhappy relationship, a self-defeating coping mechanism, an ineffective way of relating, a limiting belief about something, or a fixed way of doing things.
The known seems safe. But that’s an illusion. In reality, we’re captives of a habitual and stagnating existence, and that spells confinement.
Why should we be lured by the unknown? I like Chopra’s answer to that question:
“The known is the rigid pattern of past conditioning. The unknown is the field of infinite possibilities, that field of infinite choices which we can step into every moment of our life, when we go beyond the camouflage of our past memories, our conditioning.”
Yes, we’re conditioned beings and it takes a lot of courage to venture into new territory—to leave our Room. But to be free we must.
(c) Salee Reese 2016
9 responses to “Safe or Confining?”
The hardest part is re-programming the voice in our head that wants things to stay the same. Our brain repeats that program when things get unfamiliar. We must think our way out of the programming which is a lot of work but totally worth it. 🙂
Excellent. It especially is excellent when we have a beneficial direction to head. Obviously in the story the boy is better off outside of the confinement of the room. In life we will only be better moving away from something or towards something if that something we move to is truly better. So how do we know, that is the crux of the question as most decisions are not so easily made for the better. I would suggest that if we know God and always move towards rooms He has prepared for us, even if difficult than we can be confidant in our progress and in our changes.
I think the spirit within us … call it God if you will … is heard by the discomfort we feel with the status quo. Our soul shouts: “This isn’t right for me!”
Nice sharing thoughts with you!
My room is bigger than Jack’s, but I sometimes want to go back to a familiar room. Fear blocks me from moving out to an unknown room. But, at the same time, the explorer in me thrills over moving beyond fear!
The ever present human dilemma!
As much as I like to explore and experience adventure, I experience the gravitational pull, like everyone else and stick to the familiar. I’ve been working on loosing weight and I’ve heard people say that having extra weight can be security or can simply become comfortable. I didn’t think that held true for me. However, it does. Yikes! I’ve been holding onto pounds of fear and pain. It’s shedding time- letting go of fear and diving into the unknown. My new mantra shall be, “The unknown, that’s the gold”.
Just thought of this. I’ve confined my spirit in an overweight body. I’ve dimmed my light because it felt safe.