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"I Feel Trapped"

By Dr. Margaret Paul
July 05, 2011

Do you feel trapped by numerous situations in your life and find yourself going into resistance? Discover a way out of procrastination and resistance.

"I can't seem to stop snacking," said Linda, in our phone session. "And I can't figure out why. I don't overeat during meals, but then I snack on things that I don't need to be eating. I've had this issue on and off since adolescence and I want to resolve it."
"Linda, right now, take yourself back to the last time you snacked. See if you can tune into what was going on and what you were feeling."

"It happened a lot this last weekend. I had some work I needed to get done I didn't want to do it. Snacking is a way of putting it off for a bit."

"So you were in resistance to getting the work done, is that right?"

"Yes, that's what was going on."

"What is the feeling inside when you have to do something you don't want to do?"

"I feel trapped."

"Do you often feel trapped in your life?"

"Now that you are asking - yes! I feel trapped a lot. I feel trapped in this job, which I don’t like. I feel trapped when my husband asks me to do things. I often feel trapped by our money situation. I feel trapped when I have to answer email. Sometimes I even feel trapped by my children's needs."

"Is this when you snack?"

"Yes! Now that I’m thinking about it, it's always about getting out of feeling trapped for a few minutes. But then I end up feeling trapped in my body because I don't like what I weigh!"

I knew exactly what Linda was talking about, as I used to feel trapped in my life a lot, and I had also learned to turn to various addictions to resist feeling trapped. Whenever I saw something as a "have to" rather than a "want to," I felt trapped.

"Linda, I know the sensation of feeling trapped and wanting to find some way out. What I've learned to do is to shift my thinking from telling myself that I 'have to' do something, to seeing it as an opportunity to love myself and others. When I shift from 'have to' to asking "What is my opportunity to love right now?" the trapped feeling goes away and the resistance dissolves.

"For example, right now, imagine opening your email and asking yourself, 'What is my opportunity to love right now?' What comes to mind?"

"The first thing that comes to mind is that I can send out kind and caring emails to the people who are reaching out to me."

"What do you usually tell yourself when people reach out to you?"

"I feel annoyed that now I have to answer them."

"How does it feel to tell yourself that this is an opportunity to be kind and caring?"

"Wow, it's amazing! When I tell myself that I have to answer them, the first thing I want to do is get up and snack. I can see that telling myself that I 'have to' sets me up for feeling trapped and resistant. But when I tell myself that this is an opportunity to be kind and caring, I feel great and I look forward to answering the emails. I think that if I can remember to do this every time there is something I need to do, I will probably be able to stop snacking."

None of us like to feel trapped, and many people go immediately into resistance the moment they feel trapped. When you choose to see each situation in your life as an opportunity to love, and you open to learning about what would be loving, you will no longer feel trapped.


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Daily Inspiration

Today, embrace all adversity as opportunities to learn. All adversity has within it the seed of learning and growth. If you approach adversity as a victim, you will not learn the lesson it is here to teach you. If you embrace it with an intent to learn, you will be astounded at the gifts it has for you.


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