• nsughaiyer

A Cage in a Cage

Photo by Alex Holyoake

I am deeply afraid.

This fear is not new. It was there long before our current crises started to arrive. It only became louder now.

I am now even more afraid of sharing what I am afraid of.

But here it is...

I live in a cage.

And that scares the shit out of me...

No matter how much I invest in breaking out of my social and cultural boundaries, I always find myself moving from one cage to another one. It's as if every cage I escape is locked inside a larger one, with layers of cages that continue to confine each other. Escaping one cage earns me more space, but never the full freedom.

It's definitely an improvement to have more space to be what my heart calls me to be.

But there continue to be spaces I cannot explore, and things I cannot say or do...

And that sucks!

My voice/work have always been shy, repressed, apologetic, and downgraded version of what I really want to bring into the world.

This milder version has always come from my history line (where/when/how I arrived into this world). It also continues to be heavily shaped by my present surrounding (where/how I place myself now in my environment).

The Last 5 Years

The last five years have been constant work of unlearning and undoing. I shed so much of my old story.

It's been a journey of exploring how to live more in the freedom and the truth of who I am, and how to be more in harmony and alignment with the mysteries of god, nature, and the universe.

It's hard to explain in words the inner journey. I can best say that it involved deep questioning and destruction of identity stories from gender and religion to political, social, and cultural stories (which all continue to be ongoing work).

The outer journey is easier to explain. It included quitting jobs, downsizing material life, leaving addictions, detaching from consumerism, disconnecting from media/news, travelling faraway with minimum/no plans, meeting different people who challenge my identity, tracking down mentors abroad and learning from unconventional thinkers, writing about mystery and spirituality, speaking/training to thousands, facilitating intimate groups, becoming a professional artist in improv and theatre, spending long hours of daily walk/meditation/connection with nature, and exploring other beautiful and risky spaces I never thought ever existed.

The Continuous Doubt

It's hard for me to give myself credit for a job well-done. This is one of the rare times I list down my achievements.

I often belittle my progress (usually labelled as regress by society because of the current perception of unlearning and undoing as failing in life).

Despite all the wild exploration, growth and progress I think I made over the last few years, I've always found myself coming back to a new nothing, from where I launched myself again into something else entirely new. It always felt like completing circles of life again and again every few years, and moving from one reality (or we could say a dream) to another.

This is the first time I write about this fear of feeling suppressed by the system. I've always kept it hidden within to avoid consequences.

But I now remind myself that... there is only one life that I will get to live.

And though this cage, I now live in, continues to scare me... My fear of living a milder and less authentic version of what I know is possible, has risen to become larger than the fear of breaking out of my cage.

So am I afraid?

Yes, I am.

I am terrified. Extremely terrified.

Stepping out could mean risking it all. But I am also tired of not being more honest.

I give up on negotiating my life and actions into safer and more conforming direction. I've come a long way and have risked so much to arrive here. What else could I be afraid of?

Been everywhere, done everything. I cannot be more ready than now.

This is a new nothing... a new ground I am launching from.

I am ready for what's next.

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