When I was a little kid, I remember a story I read about Sampson. Because he was so strong, his enemies Chained him to keep him in control. As the story went, at least that I can recall, he pulled the chains from the brick wall and brought down the house, so to speak, on his enemies.
Remember the Incredible Hulk? You know, the guy who was fairly meek and mild that when angry, turned into a green monster? Somewhere along the line, at least in one of the episodes of the TV show I watched growing up, scientists tried to control him with sedatives. Worked a little, but eventually, the sedatives wore off and the green guy was back to himself, or at least a version of himself.
When I was in college, my friends decided to bind my hands and feet behind my back as a practical joke. I protested, begged, pleaded for them not to. They didn’t listen to me. Instead, after they were done, they put me on a bed and left the room, shutting the door behind them. I was alone. I was by myself. And I was terrified.
I can’t tell you how panicked I was. Anxious. Nervous. Angry. Helpless. Truly, absolutely helpless. I know my heart raced. I became claustrophobic, like the walls were truly closing in. I had the terrifying feeling that I might die. When my friends finally relented and untied me, one of them remarked how white I looked. Really? He was surprised at how white I looked? Master Detective, he was not!
I have to tell you it was quite a while before I forgave them. I mean, how could they possibly think that was a joke? How could they possibly think doing something like that was funny? What if I had begun choking? I was already having trouble breathing, so what if, while they were out of the room laughing or whatever they were doing, something happened to me to the point it was irreversible? I was helpless. I had no control. None. What the heck were they thinking?
That unfortunate and ugly memory got me thinking . . .
How many times do we feel Tied Down And Chained? In the course of a year? A month? A week? A day? Sometimes from our own doing or sometimes from others doing to us?
Sometimes, we do it to ourselves by our words, our actions, our interactions with others, our decisions especially without considering the consequences of our words, our actions, or the decisions we make. Sometimes it is the position we might find ourselves because of the actions or words or decisions of others. Of course, it isn’t our own doing that places us in these predicaments, and that fact might cause us to have that helpless feeling, that feeling of hopelessness. We might feel hurt, anger, despair.
I’m not sure which is worse, really: our own doing or someone else’s doing. Both are awful places to be, especially if what is felt is what I felt when I was tied up and left alone.
I guess in those cases where we might feel Tied Down And Chained, we might actually need to depend upon others for help. Not necessarily easy to do, especially if our view of ourselves is one of self-sufficiency. Not easy to accept if we have the kind of personality and belief in ourselves that we can go it alone, perhaps that we somehow should go it alone. That no matter what, we can do it ourselves. That in spite of it all, we can take care of ourselves.
No, not necessarily easy to do at all.
But it’s never wrong to seek help from someone if and when it is needed. It’s never wrong to admit that we cannot go it alone, that we need support, that we need someone else’s shoulder to lean on, someone else’s hand to lift us up. I think it’s rather idiotic to think we can get ourselves out of the hole that we dug for ourselves or out of the hole that someone else dug for us. Sometimes the most courageous thing, the bravest thing, the smartest thing we can do is ask for help, for advice, for someone to listen. Something to think about . . .