I was in jail, and I was terrified. I thought my life was over and that I’d have no future. It was a cruel hoax – a false imprisonment – only I didn’t know it at the time. The stark white cell was cold and sterile, containing just a wooden bench and security cameras. Although it lasted just a few hours, it seemed like an eternity. I felt trapped and couldn’t escape.
And so it is with many situations in life. We’re stuck – with no seeming way out. A cruel world shattering our hopes and dreams
But is that really true? Might there be another way of looking at the situation – and looking at the world – in which our freedom is not only possible but ensured?
Growing up, my favorite game to play was Monopoly. Primarily because the game lasted for a long time and gave me a valid excuse for staying up past my bedtime. Besides building hotels and collecting rent on precious properties, a treasured highlight for me was obtaining a Get Out of Jail Free card. Not only guaranteeing safety from the prison house – and subsequently missing the financial reward for passing Go – the card ensured a precious turn (roll of the dice) would never be missed.
Comforting words indeed.
Each one of us holds a Get Out of Jail Free card in life. In fact, we hold an infinite number of them.
What we don’t realize is that we are the ones who put ourselves in prison. We are both the prisoner as well as the jail keeper – only we’ve forgotten that we hold the key.
How can I be the victim of a world that can be completely undone if I so choose? My chains are loosened. I can drop them off merely by desiring to do so. The prison door is open. I can leave simply by walking out. Only my wish to stay keeps me a prisoner. (W-pI.57.1)
Once we recognize that we do this to ourselves, we can make a different choice and experience freedom. Join us in Monday’s class where we’ll learn how we can utilize these Get Out of Jail Free cards, and I’ll share the story of my inappropriate imprisonment. I look forward to seeing you then.