Turning the Page

Caged By the Opinions of Others

December 2, 2021

Others’ opinions about us can lead us to feel we are caged. Trapped, we grow in fear and worry, but recognizing them and boldly stepping out of the cage can bring us into new freedom.

I could feel myself slipping into the dark place of despair again.

As is my habit these days, I quickly ran to grab my Bible and said a quick prayer to counteract the negative thoughts.

Growing up, I was a bubbly and outgoing toddler. However, from the age of 6, I had turned into a bookworm.

My mother could not explain my sudden social anxiety and just brushed it off as a phase I would outgrow. However, as I grew older, my love for reading also grew. When I got hold of a book, I never wanted to set it back down until after reading. So great was my love for reading I would sometimes forget to eat or shower once I started reading a new book. 

In my culture of Zimbabwe, children are supposed to enjoy being on the streets and playing games with their peers. My mother would try and help me make friends, calling out to children who were my age to invite me if they had any fun activities planned. 

Now that I look back to those days, I loved books, and like my mother and father, I enjoyed reading anything in print, especially novels. However, reading was my way of escape, and I could see the world through a different lens by immersing myself in the characters of the novels I was reading.

My parents were a comfortable middle-class couple, with my dad working at a mine and my mother a stay-at-home mom. 

After having three children, she decided to go back to school and eventually college. As is custom, we would bounce around relatives’ houses while my mother was at school. 

 

Others’ opinions about us can lead us to feel we are caged. Trapped, we grow in fear and worry, but recognizing them and boldly stepping out of the cage can bring us into new freedom.

I could feel myself slipping into the dark place of despair again.

As is my habit these days, I quickly ran to grab my Bible and said a quick prayer to counteract the negative thoughts.

Growing up, I was a bubbly and outgoing toddler. However, from the age of 6, I had turned into a bookworm.

My mother could not explain my sudden social anxiety and just brushed it off as a phase I would outgrow. However, as I grew older, my love for reading also grew. When I got hold of a book, I never wanted to set it back down until after reading. So great was my love for reading I would sometimes forget to eat or shower once I started reading a new book. 

In my culture of Zimbabwe, children are supposed to enjoy being on the streets and playing games with their peers. My mother would try and help me make friends, calling out to children who were my age to invite me if they had any fun activities planned. 

Now that I look back to those days, I loved books, and like my mother and father, I enjoyed reading anything in print, especially novels. However, reading was my way of escape, and I could see the world through a different lens by immersing myself in the characters of the novels I was reading.

My parents were a comfortable middle-class couple, with my dad working at a mine and my mother a stay-at-home mom. 

After having three children, she decided to go back to school and eventually college. As is custom, we would bounce around relatives’ houses while my mother was at school. 

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