Feb 6, 2014

Thinking Out of the Box

by Kari Diane Pike

The other day I posted a status on Facebook that said, " Must get out of this "bleh" attitude. I think my 'get up and go' left with the grans. I feel like I am in a glass box. I can see all the stuff I want to do, but keep running into an invisible barrier. Hmmm, I suppose if I can identify the nature of the barrier, I can determine how to get through it. LOL...Maybe I just need a nap. And chocolate."

Have you ever watched a mime pretend to be trapped in an invisible box? I Googled "mime in a box" and found this kid:


Like a mime in a box, I realized that I had created the feeling of being trapped. Even though I experienced events that seemed to prevent me from accomplishing my goals, my perceptions put up the barriers, therefore it made sense that I could take them down, or at least go over, around, under or through them. I just needed to be creative and think out of the box!

I began taking down the barriers by reviewing my goals and asking that question that still hangs on the front of my computer: Are my actions today moving me closer to where I want to be tomorrow? I analyzed my ultimate goal of being able to return to live with my Father in Heaven. What could I do today to get me closer to that goal tomorrow? Service. I had missed one of my ladies that I visit teach, so I dropped everything else I was trying to do and stopped by to visit her. 

The next day, my status said, "Yesterday, I posted a status about feeling out of sorts. Two things happened. I received uplifting messages from friends and I made myself reach out to someone else. I love the way reaching out to help lift someone else brings me closer to the top than anything else. After just 30 minutes of putting someone else at the top of my list, I felt renewed hope and tons of energy!

Feeling down today? Smile at a stranger. Wipe a tear. Call or visit someone else who needs a lift. Pay something forward. Forget yourself and rejoice in this miracle called life. I can't wait to see what happens next, because no matter what happens, everything is going to be okay. hugs~"

I have several writing goals and perceive as many barriers. The first one, of course, is to finish my research paper for my capstone class so that I can finally graduate from Brigham Young University. If I spent as much time writing the actual paper as I do stewing about what is keeping me from writing, I would have a novel written by now. I only need 10 pages. If I write one page a day, I can have that paper written in less than two weeks. So what barriers do I keep putting up? I  realize now that fear is one of them. What purpose will I have when I am finished with school? How will I justify sitting at the computer and doing research and writing things that have meaning if I'm not being held accountable? Finishing school also means a change in the way I mentally define myself. While I am completing my degree, I am a student. What will I be when I finish? 

Then I remember. Learning is a life long process. Actually, I think learning is an eternal process. I will always be a student. I will never stop learning.(Someday I'll post a few of those questions I have for God when I get to the other side.) And yes, it's okay if I have to learn some things over and over again. The point is that I keep trying - that I never give up. 

When I'm finished with my degree, I will have a whole new set of choices before me. I can use my research and writing time to finish my book projects. I think I have used school as an excuse, or another barrier, for not getting them written. As long as I had to do "homework" I had a reason for not completing them. Besides, I'm a really good student. I'm comfortable in the success I have experienced in this role.

Let's face it. A "reason" is a lot easier to face than the fact that I am scared and feel like I'm not a good enough writer to get published. Yeah, there's that fear factor again. Being stuck in a box is much more comfortable than having my fears exposed. At least that way, those fears seem invisible - until I realize that I'm in a glass box - and everyone else can see through my walls. Exposure can be a really good motivator. Breaking down the barriers and overcoming those fears is a lot more productive than dying of embarrassment.

Now, all that said, I also know that what other people think is not important. I am unique. There is no one else just like me. My experiences are like no one else's. Sharing my perspective can help someone else conquer their invisible barriers. 

I am a daughter of a Heavenly Father who loves me, and I love Him. No effort, however small, goes unnoticed or unappreciated by Him. He sent His beloved Son, Jesus Christ, to make up for where I lack. I can do the best I can with what I know and leave the rest in His hands - His mighty hands - and know that no matter what happens, everything is going to be okay.



  1. Kari--Thank you so much for this. I read your posts on Facebook and could really relate--and I felt the invisible glass box was such a great analogy. I, too, have lots of the same issues you do, although in different contexts. Thanks for sharing your wisdom. Forward without fear is my new battle cry!

    Wendy Archibald

  2. Kari, aren't you glad we have an eternity to work things out. I want to learn and know so much. But I try to remind myself here is Heavenly Father first, service next. One day I'll know how to create an earth, just not today.


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