"You can check out any time you like but you can never leave."

Have you ever seen a huge elephant with a chain wrapped around one of her legs and the other end attached to a big peg in the ground?  You ever wonder why this beautiful, powerful creature that has the ability to fell trees without breaking a sweat, allows this paltry leash to hold her from freedom?

When she was just a little pachyderm, those in charge put the exact same chain on her leg.  She tried to pull loose but as a pup, she wasn't able to break free.  She learned to not even try to pull that fucking peg out of the ground because it was a waste of time.  By the time she was as big as an SUV, it was hardwired in her brain that the peg was inescapable.  So she relinquished her control and remains captive, more in her mind than in any real way.

We all have our chains we've been taught keep us in place.  And we are all powerful enough to pull those pegs out of the ground but gave up long ago.

Let that statement sit there for a second.

Caveats include:

•  If you grew up white, middle class, or male, you were tethered by FAR FEWER pegs and chains than everyone else.  If you are American (including all hues of skin and gender) you grew up with less pegs and chains than EVERYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD.  Perspective can be a kick in the metaphorical junk, huh?

•  Some of those pegs are really embedded in the ground.  I mean, some of them are fucking DEEP in the bedrock and actually require huge effort to pull up.

•  When we feel pegged and chained, we tend to then peg and chain our children with the same devices.  We also get really pissed when we see other elephants wandering around without the pegs we wear.  We often direct that rage at the other elephants rather than either the chains or our own self defeat.

So what are some of those pegs and chains?

I hate my job but I have to work here.

I don't have enough time.

It never worked out for me in the past.

It's not FAIR!

It's too hard to - lose weight/quit smoking/stop drinking/watch less porn.

I believe the Other is out to get me.

I have no control of the Other.

I believe the Other is inferior to me.

I am worthless and without reason.

Look around.  Examine why you do things and why you don't try to do things and what causes you anxiety.  Pegs attached to chains attached to your ankle.