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Jewish Journal

Stop Choosing To Live Life in Prison

by Ilana Angel

January 16, 2014 | 10:55 pm

I am a very blessed human being. Some would say I am lucky rather than blessed, but I believe God has a hand in my luck, which makes me blessed. I have a lot of things happening in my life and they have been consuming my time and thoughts. Professionally there are things I cannot speak yet about but am excited to share soon. Personally my son is graduating high school, going off to college, and I am facing an empty nest.

It is an interesting time of growth for me. With growth comes growing pains and how I deal with these growing pains has been good and bad. I am trying, which makes the failures not as painful. I had lunch today with my boss Rob Eshman who said something that really resonated with me. In speaking about my fears and confusion about the things going on in my life, he said I was comfortable living in the prison I had built.

He spoke of change being scary and rather than embrace it, we sometimes lock ourselves in a self made prison because it feels safer than venturing out into the world. I have not stopped thinking about what Rob said. I have been in prison. I am a very open and fearless person on a lot of levels, but at the same time I fear many things and many people. My heart is open to love but when I get close to it, it makes me quite nervous.

I have been unkind to people who matter to me because they have tried to help me escape. I have been unreceptive to people who have tried to open my eyes to the possibility of being free. I have listened to my demons telling me to stay locked up rather than the guardian angels who try to guide me to freedom. In speaking with Rob today he not only opened my eyes, but he reminded me to look in a new direction and move forward, which can be hard.

When we lose focus of our truth we live with repetition because it is safe and comfortable. I don’t want to be so afraid of life that I don’t live it. I want to be able to move forward rather than simply turn in circles. I left our lunch today with a peace of mind I have not felt in a long time. It’s funny how powerful someone’s words can be when you are receptive to hearing them. I love and respect Rob, and his words matter to me, so they have power.

I am going to really try to break free of the limitations I have put on myself. I am going to embrace my son growing up, my career opportunities, and stop embracing fear. I am going to leave my prison. I am going to apologize to those who I was not ready to listen to, and reach out to those I let go of when I should have hung on. I am indeed blessed and today someone I love and respect gave me a much needed reminder to enjoy life and keep the faith.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Ilana Angel writes two blogs for JewishJournal.com. KEEPING THE FAITH is about her worldview as a single Jewish mother, and KEEPING IT REAL is all about reality television....

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