Buried Alive

ImageIt may be an ironic thing to say, but it is only with the passing of time that we finally see how much of it we have wasted. Most of us are buried alive in a prison of our own making, believing that we do not have the courage, the strength, the ability to be something different. To live in control.  To have focus, energy, clarity and time for ourselves.

Time is more valuable than money but we rarely see each and every moment in our lives as precious. Time is a gift that is gone as soon as it arrives.

In my early twenties, I was terrified of forming lasting relationships. I was afraid that I would get hurt through rejection, abandonment or betrayal. And as I developed my first long-term relationship, I believed profoundly that I did not have the strength to survive in this world on my own.

It was the perfect trap.

As that relationship developed, it became a hideous disfigurement of what love and friendship should be. The person on the other side of that relationship worked out early on what my inner fears were, and could therefore manipulate every shared situation for their own satisfaction. It became a living nightmare of emotional abuse.

I realized that I had traded the bullying of my childhood for the bullying of my adulthood. Worse, I knew what was happening but I was powerless to escape. Or so I thought.

Of course, there may be many other circumstances that keep you in your prison. The fear of financial ruin, the fear of losing the relationships with your children and your friends. The fear of failure, of humiliation, of starting something new from the beginning. But most of those fears are entirely unfounded, often planted by the very person and situation from which we want to escape.

It took the exposure of betrayal for me to finally muster the strength to leave. And looking back from where I sit now, I am sorry that I did not break out so much sooner.

Actually, we must never see time as wasted. Time is gone and we cannot get it back. You should only look back to help you see your way forward.

You may be in a loving, perfect relationship. But you may not be fulfilled in other ways. Your ambitions, your passions, your self-realization.

Try picturing yourself as you truly want to be. How you should be. Imagine every detail of how you feel, how you are standing, how you are dressed, where you are. Think of the people around you and how they are reacting to you, the positive things they are saying about you.

Now think about why you cannot make that picture come true. Break down every wall, every bar on the window, every lock that is keeping you imprisoned. Even small steps towards the door are better than sitting in your cell. It’s time to free yourself.

Don’t let this world bury you alive.


  1. My fear is that I won’t recognize my mistakes until I am buried in them. It paralyzes me to make decisions, feeling like every decision I have made in my past has been a mistake.

    • Hello Jean. I think that’s where the visualization comes in. Picturing yourself how you want to be (not just physically) and then making decisions that take you there. Looking back always fills us with what-ifs and wishing we had done something different. But we didn’t. So now we take control of the future. John

  2. All your posts are great, but I really like what you packed into this 500 words only!

    • Thanks! I try to keep them to 500 words. I post them on Facebook too (facebook.com/onejohnmitchell) and have big following there. Most people won’t read a paragraph so 500 words is pushing it! John

  3. This post hit home with a bang! Picturing the rest of my life the way I want it to be– literally picturing it– is simple but profound advice. Would be great to do that rather than living in fear of loss. Your posts continue to amaze me, especially knowing a little bit about what you had to overcome. What awakened you?

    • Hi Ellen! I’m doing this now myself. Picturing a future self and everything around me. I’m making decisions already about things that will take me there. My release only came with the strength of maturity and the shock of betrayal. I am not looking back anymore! John

  4. Another brilliant post, I don’t know about u, but I’m happy to read 1000 words or more as long as they touch my heart the way yours do.

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