Wisdom Workout: The Prison of Indifference

By Susan McNeal Velasquez

By Susan McNeal Velasquez 

 Many of us are incarcerated in a mental prison that is comprised of bricks of self-condemnation fashioned from our perceived mistakes, regrets, guilts and resentments. The mortar of harsh judgments from others, whether persons or institutions, who we imbued with power and authority over our basic self-esteem, holds the prison walls in place.

The job of dismantling the entire structure is so daunting that most of us prefer to serve our life sentence resigned to sleeping away our time in a numbed out fog of resignation. Instead of planning our escape, we use our power of thought to conjure up plausible justifications for where we find ourselves.

We were framed. It is unfair. We got too harsh a sentence. We had a bad defense due to incompetent representation. The judge and jury wouldn’t give us a break. We are one of the unfortunate ones. If we were more privileged or better connected we would never be in this situation. No wonder we can sometimes struggle under a cloud of depression and hopelessness.

Take heart. If we are willing to give up the unrealistic expectation of removing every brick before we can be free; the task becomes more manageable. All we need to do is tunnel a big enough escape route from our individual cells to let in the light of day and then squeeze through the opening into the wide-open freedom of the unknown that lies beyond the prison walls.

Yes, there are stumbling blocks to freedom that must be confronted. We must give up lusting after perfection. “Once I figure out everything that made me feel inferior, bad, wrong and powerless, I will fix it all and take my rightful place in the world as superior, good, right and powerful. Then I will live happily ever after.” Don’t be too quick to dismiss this state of mind as one that you don’t carry. Behind every hasty decision that brought unforeseen consequences is usually the faulty notion that we can land on the one right decision that will yield all benefits and demand no prices.

When we are too focused on outcomes while ignoring the step by step process of getting there, we create a life that is distasteful to our soul and devoid of nourishment on a daily basis. It is like approaching eating as though we can somehow find the one meal that will allow us to be nourished once and for all.

Most of us carry our particular prison with us like a turtle encased in its shell. Safety, security, familiarity, predictability, surety, the illusion of control and protection from outside harm are just a few of the seductions that lure us into treating our lives with indifference.

If your spirit is calling to you through the voice of discontentment, sadness, frustration, irritation or disappointment, be still and listen. Instead of judging these messenger feelings, move in closer and don’t be afraid. Revive your curiosity. Ask this heavy-heartedness to reveal its hidden secrets.

What new future is calling to you? What winds of change are beginning to blow? What images are being formed by your clouds of discontent? Peer into your future on the wings of your present disillusionment.

Bring these furtive glimpses of your future into the present. If you are willing to take responsibility for creating a real, one of a kind life grown out of your deepest intentions, it is necessary to start small.

Listen to your internal weather report. Count the beats between the rumbling thunder from ingested injustices. Celebrate the lightening strikes that illuminate your new path. Revel in the relief of allowing the rain to wash away closeted hurts and quench the thirst of a parched and restricted soul. Stand out in the rays of the sun and drink in its power to illuminate your heart.

Wholehearted 100% participation in the life you presently have is the key that will unlock the power necessary to pursue your personal freedom, one inspired step at a time.


Susan is the author of “Beyond Intellect: Journey Into the Wisdom of Your Intuitive Mind.” She is available for personal consulting to enhance emotional intelligence. Reach her at: susanvelasquez.com or 494-7773.


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  1. Diana Dallape

    Love this insight! Keep up the good work, Susan, you are inspiring.
    I look at criticism as challenging to receive but also rewarding. When you receive a tough criticism or judgment try setting it aside a couple days and let it smolder, and then revisit it with a fresh perspective and see what positive reflections or suggestions you can take from it and move forward. Through perseverance we rise above, grow, and succeed. Diane

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