• Jackie Brubaker

Get Out of Your Own Box

Recently, I had an encounter that completely shook my confidence. I was surrounded by a group of women I didn’t know well and the topic of weddings came up. Having almost walked down that path I knew a thing or two about the planning and stress of it all. Naturally, I gave my two cents and suddenly like a car wreck in slow motion a woman was grabbing for my left hand to see my non-existent wedding ring and asking if I was married. Flustered I said that I wasn’t married but almost was. The married ladies mood shifted and just like that my knowledge of weddings, marriage and probably relationships seemed to fly out the window as I was bumped from untouchable married goddess to pathetic single lady.

Now, I could take this in so many directions about how being married versus single has nothing to do with how others view you but honestly, it holds weight in the girl world whether we’d like to admit it or not. I couldn’t help but feel demoted as a woman— and when I say demoted what I really mean is, these women thought I wasn’t good enough to play in their sandbox because I didn’t hold matrimonial status.

Forget them, right? Sure. Yes. Of course. But, what really irked me was that I walked in there feeling so happy and confident in the place I am in my life, truly happy to be alone for this moment and not needing someone else to validate my existence (as if we ever should) and this old fashioned, antiquated judgment from people I didn’t even know left me feeling less than because I wasn’t married. It didn’t matter what else I may have done or who I was inside. I was judged based on my marital status.

So, what am I saying here? I still don’t like mean girls? That women can be petty sometimes? If I’m being honest, yes. But, what I’m getting at is we need to get out of our own box.

We have an idea of who we are and that’s compiled by experiences, accomplishments, failures, feelings and unfortunately what other people tell us about ourselves aggressively and passive aggressively. We take all of this and say, This is who I am, and then we walk around living like that. In some ways that’s true, we are these things. But, by labeling yourself you create a box of who you are and what you do and someday when the box's walls are too high you might have a hard time getting out.

Our ego’s can make a perfectly nice box really ugly. We let it rule us. We show off who we are and what we have and think that it’s impressive and will get us what we want. When we get caught in this trap when what we really need to do is step out of our own box and see who we are without it.

Other people create a box and never change from it. They stay stuck in their glory days. They do this by wearing the same clothes, never changing their hairstyle, never traveling to new places or trying new foods or meeting new people. Your box becomes a prison and it's built by fear.

Others build a box of who they are to other people. They’re children, their spouse, their family, their kids school and the crazy moms there. Sometimes we have multiple sections to our box that only certain people see and by doing that we keep the walls up and our box a fortress of who we really are.

We take a long time nurturing who we are. Some of us really like our box. We feel safe in it. We feel strong in it and those are all good things. But, we can all get rattled sometimes like I did when the box we love isn’t loved by others.

Let me first say that judgements are other peoples issues. Not yours. It’s hardly ever about you as much as it is about the other persons insecurities. So, I just wanted to make that clear. But it can make you question yourself. In my case, it triggered me because I want to share my life with someone and just because I’m not right now doesn’t mean I’m less than. It just means I’m good where I am and am simply becoming better for myself and the other person when they come along. But, it turned sour when I was judged and I questioned my box. In this case I needed to acknowledge my box and know that I’m good where I’m at.

So, whether you need to get out of your own box and grow a little, see some new things, or simply get yourself a makeover do it!

If you need to get a reality check on how far your ego has lead you down a superficial road then stop and let your hair down. Your natural hair without your extensions— and see who likes you. You’re gonna find out not only who really likes you for you but if you like you!

If you need to get out of a time warp you probably already know it because everything feels tough in your life. You can only swim upstream for so long before you become exhausted. You know things have changed. Try changing too and see how a few little changes can lead to a big one!

And, if you’re feeling insecure because of some mean girls then take a breath and remember who you are. Sure, they may make you doubt your parenting ability with unrealistic expectations of what you should be doing or whether you have a two carat diamond on your left hand but remember who you are. You’re doing just fine.

Getting out of your own box can mean different things for different people but the point is that you try to. Keep evolving kids, it’s what we’re here to do!

I hope this helps shed some light for you. Let me know what you thought with a comment below!



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