We Each Have to Live Our Own Lives

Sometimes we are so set in patterns, we aren't even aware of them.  It is so easy to talk about changing a cycle or pattern, but so hard for someone to actually gather the nerve and DO IT. It is too easy to stay in the same ways that are comfortable because it is what you know. Sometimes the better option is the unknown. But it is too scary to step there and to make that change. I am always reminded of Plato's Allegory of the Cave. I love The Allegory of the Cave because of all of the things it discusses. Here is a quick synopsis of it: Quick Summary of The Allegory of the Cave. And here is an excerpt of the article from this wiseGeek site:

"In the beginning of the Allegory of the Cave Plato represents man’s condition as being “chained in a cave,” with only a fire behind him. He perceives the world by watching the shadows on the wall. He sits in darkness with the false light of the fire and does not realize that this existence is wrong or lacking. It merely is his existence — he knows no other nor offers any complaint.
Plato next imagines in the Allegory of the Cave what would occur if the chained man were suddenly released from his bondage and let out into the world. Plato describes how some people would immediately be frightened and want to return to the cave and the familiar dark existence. Others would look at the sun and finally see the world as it truly is.
They would know their previous existence was farce, a shadow of truth, and they would come to understand that their lives had been one of deception. A few would embrace the sun, and the true life and have a far better understanding of “truth.” They would also want to return to the cave to free the others in bondage, and would be puzzled by people still in the cave who would not believe the now “enlightened” truth bearer. Many would refuse to acknowledge any truth beyond their current existence in the cave.
...Truth must be experienced rather than told because language fails to convey belief. This theme is a constant in Plato’s work. Language is the barest shadow of reality. People who are firmly committed to a religious view often echo this statement. Faith can’t be given to other people, but must be experienced."

I think this applies so much to life now, and how people would rather remain with what they know then step out and do something different. This goes for relationships, theology, jobs, anything. This is why I admire people who take risks and challenge themselves to be different. I admire people who take an active role in changing their lives and beliefs. We all have different handicaps in our lives that can be like our personal kryptonite. I know my areas of handicap that suck me back into old patterns of life I wish to escape. And I appreciate the friends I have who can talk me out of the crazy that might crop up anytime that happens. 

In The Allegory of the Cave, people went back to tell others that the light they had seen far surpassed the dark shadows they were accustomed to. While some checked out the light, others would be afraid to learn about the truth beyond their own perception. It is true that we are often our own worst enemy.

Something that has helped me a lot is to remember this phrase Caleb's grandfather once said, "We each have to live our own lives." It is so simple, but it reminds me to let go. Let people live their own lives and don't get so worked up over it. This is hard for me when it involves people I care about and potentially toxic choices they might make, but I remind myself that we each have to live our own lives. Let it go. Let them live and learn and hurt and get up and start over again. I can only hope that we each step out from behind the shadows and discover what else there might be out there. If you are like me, this might take longer than it would with someone else.  :)