I swam in the stories that I told myself. Stories about who I was, who they were, what was done to me and how terrible my life had been. All of the stories were lies that I told myself. Lies that I believed in order to survive. Lies that kept me safely locked in my cage. Safe from the monsters that roamed at large on the other side of the bars. Safe in my ten by ten space where I walked in circles tracing my steps, round and round, walking a groove in the ground so that I could run and get around the circle quicker this time. Round and round I repeated my pattern, retold my stores, deepened the rut of my path. This pattern was safety, I lied to myself. I belonged in this place, this cage, this pattern, this life. And everything outside of the cage was dangerous. Outside of my space was wrong. I was right. This circle was truth and what lied beyond my stories was false.

What I have found is that the stories that I was telling myself kept me from living a full life. In order to break free from the cage, I let go of the stories that I put up around me to protect me from the truth. Letting go of the stories meant leaving the cage and the rut. It meant stepping into the unknown and facing the truth that there was more to life. It meant admitting that I had made mistakes, that my perception was not truth. It was simply a story.

The wonderful thing about stepping outside of the cage was the realization that there is a whole world of opportunity all around me. And in this vast space, this jungle, this forest, this air, this water, this desert, I determine my path. I am not confined to a cage but rather I am free to roam.

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