Trapped In The Shadows


Are you happy?

No, not pleased because you have objects. I mean, are you fired up about your way of life? If the material things were not there, would it trouble you?


So what work do you do for a living?

Are you delighted about that? Does it contribute to your complete satisfaction to go about your day knowing you have that career to look forward to?

Is that your heart's desire, or are you carrying out what the family expects you to?


Did nursing school intrigue you because of the money, or some guy said he loved women in uniform? Maybe your family convinced you to take that route because you have nurses in the family, making that a suitable career. Is that what YOU want to do?


Are your siblings performing well, and do your parents think you should have a career like theirs? You may do piercings and love it, but Tiffany is a lawyer, and Jacob is a banker, and those careers look better on the family resume than what you are doing.


Were you mapping out a plan to start a business when suddenly your manager offered you a promotion? Didn’t you apply for that position before? Was not it given to someone else although you were more qualified?


You are a preacher's kid, so there is an expectation to carry the church on your shoulders. You are being groomed to do something you would rather not do, but since the family has generations of preachers, you feel obligated to accept “the call,” although it is not a part of the visions you see as you sleep.


These are all traps. They trap us mentally. Traps lead to depression. Can you imagine being the best daughter, sibling, church member, or employee while wanting to die?


Think about it for a moment. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and meditate on whether the life you live is fulfilling. We get so caught up in living the life others want us to live that we forget to go back to our childhood and rediscover our passions. Many do not know that the trauma we have experienced decides for us, too. Yes, depending on what turn your life took, you could have detoured off track. There is hope to get back on your path, but from my experience, that takes healing.


Shadows trapped me, too. Trying to find my way, I circled about. I always knew what I loved doing. I just never thought the desire would measure up to my counterparts. As a child, I didn't receive encouragement to believe in myself. For a long time, I was wandering. Running from the shadows of others made me the problem. There was a lot I did not want to do, and staying true to how I felt meant I was no good. Wow, that statement made me realize how we lose ourselves when entering this realm. Anyhow, I may have taken part for a while, but deep down, it was not me. I complied and rebelled. Returning like the wayward child, the Bible says we are, only to leave again. My departure became permanent once I broke free of the mental restraints. I involved myself in ministry, yet none of it aligned with my soul mission. I allowed other people to “speak into my life,” knowing most of what they said did not resonate. The few times anyone said I’d hold a position in ministry, I was not trying to hear that because that was not important to me. I did not want my entire existence to be defined by a church title. I tried conforming, but that was not working out too well, so I had to stay true to myself, doing what was best for me.


However, so many have not gotten to that point. Trapped living a life that is not theirs because they do not want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Is it okay for you to hurt if your hurting makes others happy? The silent suffering gets the best of us until we can no longer hush. I used to ask myself all the time, “why is it okay for you to hurt?” “Why are you being dishonest with yourself?” If you have had a pep talk with yourself, you know where I am coming from. Often, I had to face what I was allowing and make a change.


Take a page from my book and please, stop abandoning yourself. We have to stop doing this. It is not beneficial. You damage your core just to reinforce someone's manipulative, toxic behavior. We are not doing that anymore. Say NO to reinforcing toxicity!

Please understand some of those ideas or that advice is to your detriment. It is not to help you but to prevent you from getting where they have not been. When the manipulation does not affect you, and you succeed anyway, pay attention to how you won’t get any support, but someone else does the same thing, and they eat it up. Observe and learn. Moments like these teach you who people are. I learned the ways of people and how salty they get when you do not take their bait. I mention a word earlier, wayward. The word means those who are difficult to control. So when you are difficult to control, you are the problem.


After reading this, maybe you realized they trapped you to a degree. I encourage you to explore that, do some soul work, schedule some counseling sessions, heal and build. You miss the mark because you refused to live your life by design. You do not have to be trapped in your family or friends’ shadow anymore. 

Thanks for reading my article. Did you identify with anything you read? Are you trapped in the shadows and need help out? Email me to schedule a chat at

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