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Locked up and secure – or scary?

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By Dr. Andy and Renie Bowman

Do they bother you? Do walls and fences cause claustrophobia in you? How about locked doors and gates? Do they bring about a fierce need to find the key and escape?

The obvious answer for most of us is, “Well, it depends. Am I trapped inside those barriers or protected by them? Totally logical thinking. But the problem is that we humans are not always logical. Especially when it comes to our freedom.

One tiny whiff of a suspicion that we are trapped in a situation, and some of us can begin to panic. Walls and locked doors that earlier brought about a feeling of security suddenly feel as if they are part of a prison. That situation is now seen in an entirely different light. Everything that was once viewed as normal and good is now the opposite, and anxiety can easily follow. 

“Katie-bar-the-door-and-prepare-thyself, ‘cause that door’s comin’ open!” There is just something within us that makes us fearful of not being able to run free, wherever and whenever we choose. 

Now, let’s look at a totally different scenario. You find yourself in a room with a locked closet, and suddenly you can easily have a whole different reaction. Hell and high water probably can’t stop you from wanting to find a way to compromise that lock. Nosy curiosity is a big motivator.

But how about if it’s walls and locked doors that actually are meant to protect and shelter us? A whole different story. “Of course we need them. After all, in this crazy world that seems to be getting crazier every minute, I need all the protection I can get. And fences? Yep, I have the right to keep people on their side of the fence.”
Funny stuff. The very same things – walls, locked gates and doors. But they bring out opposite emotional reactions in people, depending on their viewpoint. Maybe – just maybe, there is a lesson to be learned from walls, gates and doors. 

We need to make certain our reaction to them is a logical and reasonable one. Sometimes the irrational side of our brain causes us to fear what isn’t really a threat. We can perceive danger in a situation, when it is actually just a form of a flashback. Back to a circumstance when walls and doors truly were scary and dangerous.

Of course, we do need to be able to recognize bad walls and locked doors, to get away and protect ourself. But we also need to realize not all walls and doors are scary. They may be there for your protection, and you are not seeing them for what they really are.

Remember, some rules and regulations are not made to harm you. I am specifically referring to The Ten Commandments written in your Bible. They are not there to take away the fun in your life and trap you. 

The One who created you only wants to help you.

••• Publisher's note: A free press is critical to having well-informed voters and citizens. While some news organizations opt for paid websites or costly paywalls, The Highland County Press has maintained a free newspaper and website for the last 25 years for our community. If you would like to contribute to this service, it would be greatly appreciated. Donations may be made to: The Highland County Press, P.O. Box 849, Hillsboro, Ohio 45133. Please include "for website" on the memo line.

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