Color image of a black cockapoo sitting in an open cage outside, looking at the edge like it wants to walk out of the cage.

A Tiger In A Cage – Breaking Free From Obsessive Thinking

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The other day, I heard a story about a tiger in a 12’ x 12’ cage. The poor animal would spend all day pacing in her small, cement, steel-barred enclosure. Her new owners were motivated to build the cat a vast natural habitat, acres large, with hills, grass, trees, and water. When they released the tiger into her beautiful new dwelling, she didn’t respond the way they had hoped. Instead of roaming free throughout her far-reaching sanctuary, the cat lived the rest of her days wearing out a 12’ x 12’ square in a corner of her expansive space. 

This story made me think of all the ways I can get stuck in patterns of thinking,or behavior when I have an expansive horizon at my disposal any time I want to roam.

One clear way I pace in a box is by focusing on all the things that are going wrong in my life rather than focusing on all the things that are going right. I trap myself into seeing the stress and the disappointments and the overwhelm rather than looking at the blessings, the connection, and the joy that are always there if I choose to adventure outside of my thought-cage.

Next week, I’d like to share more about why I think I stay in that box…and about how staying there can even make me feel safe. But, for now, acknowledging those caged thoughts is one way to liberate myself from thinking them. 

  • Oops—I’m doing that thing again where I’m focused on all the things my husband does wrong rather than all he does right
  • Yikes, there I go again, fixating on all the ways my children frustrate me, rather than acknowledging how blessed I am to have such terrific little twerps in my life

Seeing my negative brain banter as thoughts-trapped-in-a-cage somehow makes my need to break free even more clear. I have to remember that I’m the one who puts me in that cage. And nobody should put Mags in a cage…least of all Mags.

And some more about getting unstuck…
BLOG: A River Runs Through It – How I Get Myself Unstuck
PODCAST: A River Runs Through It – How I Get Myself Unstuck

And this, which has really been a golden nugget of recovery for me…
BLOG: If I Want Self-Confidence I Just Have to do THIS?
PODCAST: If I Want Self-Confidence I Just Have to do THIS?

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  1. my mind making the cage, i love that image!! and the blog image!xo

    • Thank you for helping me to create the image.
      Team, Kelly helped keep that cute little puppy in that cage when she wanted OUT.
      Miss Butter Jones doesn’t lock herself up, that’s for dam sure!

  2. Spot on!!!

    • Thanks buddy.
      And thank you for helping me OUT of the cage!
      Love you~

  3. Well said my friend!

    • Thanks so much Ginger! I appreciate you checking in~

Welcome to my blog! Here you can read about what’s on my mind as I try my best to recover from screaming at my kids and nagging the bejesus out my husband.

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I would love for you to join me as I work to undo these old patterns and evolve to create a more serene and accepting existence. (And you should know that I still want to ear flick the little knuckleheads {this includes my husband} when they don’t rinse a dish before putting it in the dishwasher — always a work in progress.)
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