The Feeling of Being Trapped and How to Escape the Darkness

The feeling of being trapped and feeling helpless stems from thoughts from an illusory inner dialogue called the ego, haunting you about being incomplete and lacking. Your thoughts lead you to believe no matter what direction you take, that you are doomed.  

It most often appears from being afraid to escape darkness and shift toward the light.

The Course in Miracles asks us to answer this simple question: “Do I want the problem or do I want the answer?”

In previous articles which I’ve linked together, I discussed being indicted by a grand jury over a foolish securities violation, and a warrant out for my arrest.

And that I would be sentenced to 10 years in prison, and why staying calm under pressure when all hell breaks loose is so important. 

Harboring the feeling of being trapped and unable to sleep that night, tossing and turning while the obvious was flooding my mind, I looked over to the bedside table to see the red, lighted numbers on the clock: 2 am.

I got out of bed, wandered to the French doors that went out onto the deck, and glanced down the slope in the backyard to the quiet lake.

The full moon glistened and glowed over the calm, glasslike water, and soothed the feeling of being trapped. A moon like this always sent peace through me and showed me how to escape when feeling helpless.

The serene view was enough to keep my eyes on the water, as an incessant ringing in my head alerted me to thoughts of the police, who would soon be pounding on the door.

Thinking how to escape was pointless. What’s the point of continuing to go on any longer with this charade of a life?

These dangerous types of feeling trapped anxiety thoughts ran through me.

By the way, here’s a related post you may revert to on why mind power secrets are easily discovered when you begin understanding ego identification: 

Why are we Feeling Helpless at Times?

Still gazing down at the lake, I continued to punish myself with guilt and the feeling of being trapped increased. Suddenly, out of nowhere, I noticed a circle of ducks in the water near the boat dock, looking up the slight incline toward the house.

It was odd at this time of night for ducks to be on the lake, but even odder, it appeared those mallards were looking directly at me. They seemed to swan back and forth as they paddled near the dock while keeping a circle formed, watching me as I watched them.

It seemed as though they were aware of my presence and the feeling of being trapped.

The Course in Miracles teaches, “Perfect perception can merely show you what is capable of being wholly shared.”

The starry night was warm and beautiful, and was getting me through feeling stuck and depressed. So I put on my housecoat and slippers to walk out into the yard and down the slope near the dock at the lake.

Sure enough, these six ducks were staring right at me like they were aware I was feeling helpless. Certainly it was strange, but of a peaceful nature as I considered these creatures of God, simply stopping by to say hello.

I picked up a twig and gently tossed it into the water, and they paddled away.

But even as they slowly streamed away, the ducks seemed to be looking back at me until they faded out of the darkness and into the glow of the moon.

It was like, yes, God is always with us!

(Also please note, you may see light in this related article about often contemplated, what it really means that God is always with us.) 

Feeling Stuck and Depressed

I sat on the dew-soaked grass and continued to stare out over the lake, which was my friend for helping me how to escape.

For years I had known this lake, and I’d caught many fish here.

In fact, when I was a kid a section of my property had been a fishing lot owned by my parents. Before that an uncle and aunt had owned the property.

And many years earlier, back to the 1940s, my grandparents had owned property adjacent, where my mother had spent much of her childhood on the lake, fishing, swimming, and boating.

The property had passed out of the family for several years until I recently purchased it, along with a new house built by the previous owner.

Many would say what a coincidence this was. Or was it?

Thoughts like these and my memories of the lake were overshadowing my immediate pressures of feeling helpless, and I decided to lie down and gaze out into the starry moonlit sky until I dozed off.

A catnap I would allow myself, hoping to rid the feeling of being trapped. I thought.

The Course in Miracles further states, “You will not remember change and shift in Heaven. You have need of contrast only here.” 

Feeling Trapped Anxiety Thoughts

Then I entered into a dream that had only two characters, which were two different reflections of myself—each with a different shape and size, as though seen through a carnival mirror.

One of me, which was the real me, had a tall, lean shape with a narrow neck and head, with an animated face.

The other me was short and fat, with a round face and head that resembled that of a sumo wrestler.

The real me projected the feeling of being trapped as real, and being thrown into a dungeon and sentenced to remain there for the rest of my life.

The dungeon was dark and musty, and the only time I saw anyone was once a day, when the other me, a massive unpleasant guard, opened the heavy steel door and placed a plate of food on the floor.

He then would shut the door and go away, intensifying the feeling of being trapped.

I began to rot in the dungeon for years and thought I was going mad.

Finally I made a decision to let go of the feeling of being trapped.

I would rather die trying to escape than spend another day in that dungeon.

How to Escape became my Thoughts

My plan was to wait behind the solid steel door for the guard to bring me food. When the guard opened the door I would attack him.

Because the other guard-me was so strong, I, the prisoner, was sure he would overtake me and kill me.

But I was fine with that.

I was better off dead than continuing on with the feeling of being trapped forever in misery and darkness.

I positioned myself behind the door.

I reached over and braced myself against the door handle. When I touched the door handle, something strange happened.

It began to turn. The weight of my grip made the handle move, and the door cracked open. It wasn’t locked!

I didn’t know what to do. I stepped forward and opened the door a little further. It made a loud crack.

I looked into the hallway and saw the guard looking directly at me. This was strange, since the guard was the other me, and frightening.

The guard had a firm look on his face but stepped aside, as I, the prisoner, walked through the door and right out of the dark dungeon into the light.

That was it. There was nothing to it; that simply I was free of the feeling of being trapped.

Here’s a related article about how to more easily have peace of mind in daily life and get over depression, stress, anxiety: 

To finding the light,

James Nussbaumer

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