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Monday, November 9, 2015

Are You A Prisoner of Hope?

The prison cell of Cagliostro, fortress of La ...
The prison cell of Cagliostro, fortress of La Rocca, in San Leo, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Prison as a Metaphor

         Now let's look at the metaphor of prison.   Each of us are prisoners of some force or situation.  Hopefully we have never or never will face literal imprisonment, but oftentimes we feel trapped by circumstance or influence that others exert upon us.  In these times we might actually think to ourselves or say to others that we feel like a prisoner of such and such.  In those times we can become filled with resentment, fear, and hopelessness.

          Imprisonment without any actual barriers of confinement might include addictions, abusive relationships, lack of financial resources, physical impairment, or any number of other difficult situations from which we find it difficult to extricate ourselves.   Sometimes the overbearing influences of a friend, family member, co-worker, or a bad boss can cause us to feel trapped in a relationship that can lead to feelings of fear, self-doubt, and codependency.

           Obligations can also create a sense of imprisonment.   Some might feel that they have to go to school or pursue a particular career path in order to fulfill the expectations of someone else.  Others can feel stuck in a job because they need the paycheck and in doing so they might long for the unfulfilled dreams of the job that they don't have.

          The metaphorical prison can encompass so many things.  It might be money--too much or the lack thereof.  The prison might be our possessions or the people in our lives.   We can be imprisoned by geography--the place where we live. Our symbolic prisons don't necessarily confine us within walls.  Our prisons are shaped by our minds and the perceptions we cultivate about our lives.  Influence is also exerted from the outside, but ultimately we are each the architect of our own prison.

          One who is in love might construct walls consisting of idealistic perceptions, unrealistic dreams, burning desire, or outright lust.  Their time might be consumed with pining, writing poems or love letters, or any other pursuit  of the lovesick soul.  A writer can be a prisoner of word counts, research, the computer, and even their blogs.  Whenever  a passion is involved the risk of imprisonment increases.    Whether it be a significant other, children, pets, a home, a job, or just about anything you can think of, we are all prisoners serving a short term or a long one in order to pay for our passion or for the thing that has managed to ensnare us in some way.
  
          As for me I like the idea of being a prisoner of hope.  That's a term that came from the Bible--Zechariah 9:12 to be precise.   Hope that is not some worthless excuse or some unattainable pie-in-the-sky dream is the greatest drive that propels us forward.  To go through life without hope is to aim toward a future where all is darkness, not unlike one who would drive in their car on the darkest night with no headlights.   To live without hope is to expect to live no longer.

         Hope is that great whatever-it-is that lies somewhere ahead of us; that for which we dream and strive and dream some more as we continue onward toward our personal El Dorado in the who-knows-where.  We can dream, but dreams are nothing without the hope that they can be one day possibly achieved.   And even if the dream is never achieved, hope provides the energy and sense of meaning to pursue the quest.  Without hope there is little to sustain us.
       
          What imprisons you?   Have you become a prisoner of hope?   Metaphorically speaking, what does breaking free from prison mean to you?


What Is This Post Leading To?

     As many of you who follow Tossing It Out already know, sometimes my posts are not just posts, but preludes to more posts.  This one is no exception.  Though I think I've brought up a relevant point regarding a subject that I think is of interest, this post is thematically connected to the posts you'll be finding on this site in the coming week and which will culminate in my song choice for my Battle of the Bands post on Sunday November 15th.

      This current post is a bit of a clue to that song choice--a song that likely few of you will be familiar with even though it is a song well known to millions of people.  This song has been recorded by many artists since it was first released in 1981 when it became a huge hit for the original artist.  This artist has international renown and besides having released several albums he has appeared in movies and on television.   His music has influenced numerous artists.

       Since these clues will probably be of little help to most of you I will be having BOTB contributor Guilie Castillo Oriard from Quiet Laughter actually join me at my blog on Wednesday when she will not only introduce the song to you, but also tell you a bit about her book The Miracle of Small Things which has recently been released.  On BOTB day she and I will present related Battles with songs in a similar genre.   

         This should prove to be a unique experiment as well as a mind expanding learning experience for all of us.   Please be here on this coming Wednesday, Friday, and finally Sunday November 15th when my next Battle of the Bands is presented.

          Gracias.





87 comments:

  1. With God, there is always hope, and I'd rather be a prisoner of that. Although there are days when obligations can feel like a prison.

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    1. Alex, life can be very much a prison if we let it be.

      Lee

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  2. Thought provoking post! Towards the end of my corporate career, I was suffering from burnout and definitely felt imprisoned. It was actually somewhat of a relief when the axe fell! That said, the ensuing financial problems were another kind of prison (my husband's job was eliminated in the same year), that took us several years to break free from. Better to be a prisoner of hope! Sometimes I do feel im[risoned by my blog. LOL Actually, that's why I won't be participating in the next BOTB - weekend blogging is difficult for me. Of course, I'll be checking in to see what you and Guilie are up to. Clever idea! Her BOTB tie-in on my blog today was pretty unique as well.



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    1. Debbie, I think we can often get out of one prison only to land in another. You've presented some good examples.

      We'll miss you for the next BOTB. Can you do it ahead of time to post automatically? If not we'll see a post from you next round I hope.

      Lee

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    2. True, that, about trading one prison for another.
      Regarding BOTB: That's what I did for the last one, but it still required too much online presence, because I feel compelled to visit all the other posts and to respond to comments. It's an "all in" activity for me.

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    3. Debbie, I can understand that. Battle of the Bands is more than just posting something. Whatever works best for you.

      Lee

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    4. Thanks. I'm glad you understand. I don't like to do anything half-assed.

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  3. My biggest prisons are fear and stress.

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    1. HR, yes those things can really ensnare us. I've been locked in those prisons at times.

      Lee

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  4. Good to be a prisoner of hope. We all find ourselves trapped. What I always think when it wears on me is to be grateful of what I have. Plus the lesson so many actors have given. They get the hang role of a lifetime. Then do everything to get out of it and never get another opportunity. I try to remember that this part of my life maybe the role of my life.

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    1. Ann, being typecast can be a terrible fate, but also a lucrative industry. Liking what we do determines our sense of incarceration. To be grateful in all circumstances is to understand the nature of being free.

      Lee

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  5. I never seem able to guess your song choices. We are all prisoners of something at some point in our lives.

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    1. Susan GK, I don't think any of my regular readers would guess my next song which is why Guilie is going to introduce it for me. And you are so right. There is always something that imprisons us.

      Lee

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  6. Fascinating prequel to your BOTB. Truthfully, I have no idea in the slightest what song you're going to pick. I'm okay with that. I like surprises.

    I often make my own walls, which is something I need to change. Metaphorically and literally. I only leave the house about once a week, and well... that can't be healthy. And not just for my pale skin.

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    1. Beer Guys, hopefully my song will be surprise more than disappointment. I'm taking a risk.

      I leave the house more than that, but I usually don't stay gone long and wouldn't have left if I hadn't felt it was absolutely necessary.

      Lee

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  7. I make my own prison as I tend to overload myself with things to do.

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    1. L.Diane, I think overload is where I am of late. I've got so much on my mind and to do that it seems like I get little of note actually accomplished.

      Lee

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  8. Hope is a necessity of the soul.
    Sometimes, when mine is especially low, I try to give some to someone else. I volunteer, encourage a friend. When I don't believe in myself, anymore, I hope for another and help another.
    It even replenishes mine to do so (at times).

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    1. Jennifer, you make an important point. When our own hope is waning it can help us to assist others with their hope. It's like recharging our spiritual battery.

      Lee

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  9. Can I hope to actually find El Dorado? Having no money can be a big prison, restricts a lot. But hope isn't a bad prison.And most beats being stuck in an actual prison with "Tiny"

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    1. Pat, I'm always concerned by anyone named "Tiny" because usually they are much bigger than I. Lack of finances can definitely be limiting, but too much money can also be a confining experience in a way. I wouldn't mind having the money anyway.

      Lee

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  10. I have felt a prisoner of some things....occasionally even now it happens. I am definitely imprisoned by fear of failure that I don't put my crafts and photos out there seriously to sell. I figure there's so much competition with people who do it better than me so why even bother. I can't take that kind of rejection.

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    1. JoJo, fear of rejection can be paralyzing to our personal success. Hope you overcome some of that.

      Lee

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  11. George Hanson: Oh, yeah, they're gonna talk to you, and talk to you, and talk to you about individual freedom. But they see a free individual, it's gonna scare 'em.

    Hi, Lee!

    Your post is a well written piece and food for thought. I'm sure you can relate to the story of the old circus elephant that for decades was confined to the same spot in the tent, a chain around its ankle tied to a stake. One day the elephant was rescued, set free, the stake and shackles removed. Yet, the elephant remained where it was in the exact same spot where it had stood all those years. Although free to move on and begin a new life, the creature's limiting belief kept it rooted to the safe and familiar.

    I like the idea of being a prisoner of hope. We need to stay a little hungry, keep striving, keep pushing toward our goals and what we perceive as a better life. Without hope all is lost.

    I look forward to your band battle, good buddy. I was going to guess Disco Tex again but I realize it's a long shot. :)

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    1. Shady, Disco Tex is still not on my agenda.

      I think many of us become prisoners of habit and being locked in a safety zone. We often prefer whatever is easy.

      Lee

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  12. Hope have been with me for many years without any success but I still hope that all will be well .......soon.
    Great post to read Lee but couldn't guess the song.
    Yvonne.

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    1. Yvonne, never give up on hope! Sometimes it's the best we've got.

      I'd be very surprised if anyone guessed the song.

      Lee

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  13. Prison is a concept of perception to me. Bars and walls can only restrict your body-- your mind is as free as you will allow it to be.

    Whatever restricts you does not have to break you. Some confinements are harder than others. To be paralyzed in a sick bed must be galling.

    I like to think of Hope as a wind that fills the sail of our souls, forging our dreams ahead.

    The last freedom is the freedom to choose what attitude we will take of our situation. Great post as always.

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    1. Roland:

      I like to think of Hope as a wind that fills the sail of our souls, forging our dreams ahead.

      I like how you describe hope--so much that I tweeted it!

      There have been great stories about the freedom of mind. What you say is true.

      Lee

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  14. Hope, I'm afraid, is something that we no longer have ... hope was there in the darkest of times just to help see us through....
    more than a few years back we finally realized just how pointless "hope" was... The death of my Mom was that first devastating "blow"...
    ... then the "hope" that that lying sack of human crap with a badge rail-roaded me into a horrible "tale" that he put together.... and (unable to even speak in my own defense" ... (even though what happened was 25 years earlier...
    the "hope" for better living conditions... Sorry to say that (for us ) all "hope" has Died....

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    1. Dr Theda, I hope you find your hope again. All is not lost, but I can understand how sometimes it seems that way.

      Lee

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    2. We wish we could have "Hope"... all that died a good while back the Cops refuse to even help when needed... and cannot even properly read a court issued legal papers.... in this backwards (back-woods) area....!!!
      yet all it takes is for someone to say that Stacey did something ,.... and that is good enough for them to come after me.... we can have Evidence and Witnesses... and all the cop will say (when they finally show up about a hour later) ... "well, I don't see them now".... and the worst "criminal element of this county wear a "badge" ...

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    3. Dr Theda, sometimes the "powers that be" shouldn't be.

      Lee

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  15. I think being a prisoner of hope is the best kind of prisoner you can be. I'm a prisoner of hope. :D

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    1. Chrys, for some hope is the only thing they have left--without that they have nothing.

      Lee

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  16. Prisoners of safety... of our comfort zones... of the path of least resistance... of the fear of the unknown, even though the known is no longer satisfactory... Brilliant post, Lee. Indeed, prisons come in many shapes and degrees of visibility, but the worst ones, I think, are the ones we create for ourselves.

    Thank you for making me a part of this experiment, Lee! I'm excited!

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    1. Guilie, the confinement of the human soul can only come from the mind. A person can be locked up physically, but they are as free as they allow their thoughts to be.

      Lee

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    2. You are so right, Lee. And the reverse is, of course, true as well: a person can be free as a bird, physically, but if their thoughts are imprisoned, then... Well.

      Interesting about hope being a prison. I suppose we can also be prisoners to good things... Hope would definitely rank #1 on my list :) But... I don't know. Wouldn't that be more a freedom than a prison? I equate prisons with a loss of freedom, whether it be physical or mental, and hope seems to me something so inherently linked to freedom (options, choices, dreams... all that is hope, right?) that I have a hard time matching it to a prison of any kind. Still, if we must be prisoners to something, then I vote for hope. Oh, and love ;)

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    3. Guilie, prison is not necessarily simply be loss of freedom, but also restraint, constraint, or restriction. Being tied down to a family might seem confining at times but ultimately--in the ideal sense--it's a good thing worth making sacrifices for. There are a lot of things like that I think. It's a matter of where our heads are--our perspective--and our goals or the outcome we desire.

      Lee

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  17. "Prisoner Of Hope" by Johnne Lee reached #3 on the Billboard country charts in 1981...

    I'm just sayin'

    PS- your reply to Guille sounds like a quote from the Stallone movie Lock Up

    LC

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    1. Larry, not a song by Johnnie Lee by a long shot. You'll need to think outside of the box--or should I say the country.

      I saw Lock Up. Maybe I dredged the quote from my subconscious memory of the film.

      Lee

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    2. LOL! Nope, never saw Lock Up (not a big Stallone fan here), but maybe I need to give it a chance... Sounds like high wisdom gets a nice back-and-forth there ;)

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    3. I am not sure a Stallone movie is the place to go for wisdom...

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    4. Steve Harley had a song with prisoner in the title, but I am pretty sure that was earlier...

      I looked at the Hot 100 singles for 1981 and nothing popped out, but I may be taking your description of "huge hit" too literally...

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    5. Larry, "huge hit" might be off the charts that you're looking at and on a completely different chart. I am being literal about the "huge hit" description but maybe I should have said it in a different language.

      Lee

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  18. The idea is not to allow life obligations--or the mind--to confine us, although I understand how difficult this can be at time. Thank you so much for sharing this insight with your followers, Lee. Without hope one cannot dream, and without dreams, we are lost; as a people, as a nation, as a world. Let's try to keep our fears under control so that hope never dies. Thanks for sharing this with your readers.

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    1. Victoria, thank you for you kind comment. Sometimes dreams are what we must subsist on in order to make it to the future.

      Lee

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  19. If I am a prisoner of hope I don't mind, for the loss of hope would lead to the end of dreams and goals. Even in the bleakest of times a hopeful heart continues to soar if only we allow it.
    How could I not like El Dorado - ha! Poor Luke. I'm thinking it's not Nelson Riddle, but someone he arranged for. But yeah, I'm still stumped - can't wait to find out!

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    1. Diedre, at least a prisoner of hope looks forward to a release one day. To be a prisoner of hopelessness is a death sentence.

      I was not referring to the film El Dorado, but that's an interesting thought. The "riddle" I'm posing is not Nelson, half Nelson, or near Nelson in any way that I know of.

      Lee

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  20. Unfortunately, I don't have time for the kind of response I'd like to make, but I'm not sure hope is a good substitute for determination and perseverance. Hope can inspire people to throw money away on lottery tickets, for example.

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    1. Andrew, true hope can involve many things including wasted pursuits, but determination and perseverance start with hope otherwise why even start anything.

      Lee

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  21. Looking forward to this song reveal.
    My prison are my own feelings of self-doubt and feelings of worthlessness. It at times makes me feel inadequate to even want to write, feeling someone else could say it best, or already has.

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    1. Jeffrey, I think you have a lot of company with those feelings you have.

      Lee

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  22. I just had an "are you standing over my shoulder" experience over at Shady's, and this is much the same. Your prisoner of hope is a bond that I share with my son's now-ex girlfriend. Loving someone who just can't reciprocate, hoping against hope until the other sets a definitive line- she just arrived at a place I've been more than once.

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    1. CW, I find that many of us in the blogging world share similar experiences at similar times. Sometimes hope is all we can hang onto and then let go of when the right time comes.

      Lee

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  23. I loved this post. Once upon a time I was in a marriage that felt like a prison. Sometimes my mind holds me captive.

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    1. Shelly, ultimately it all comes down to mind the way I see it.

      Lee

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  24. Hi Arlee! The more of us who are prisoners of hope the better. Life without hope is a sad way to live, but I can see many people, such as refugees, who must find it hard to garner any hope in their lives.
    Glad to hear the lovely Guilie is on your blog soon. I'm hosting her on the 18th.

    Denise :-)

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    1. Denise, Guilie is making her rounds. I hope it pays off for her.

      Lee

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    2. Thank you, both... It already has paid off—who cares about book sales when there are great people to meet and to get to know better and to build friendships with? Really, the publishing adventure has been a lesson in generosity, and this blog tour, and the wonderful bloggers who are participating in it, are the best proof of it. Mwah!!! (That was a kiss :) )

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    3. It's been not only a pleasure, but an inspiration that has expanded my own thinking. I've gotten some good blog post material from your guest spot.

      And to think there are businesses that you can pay to set up a blog tour for you. So much cooler and friendlier to be hosted by blog friends. The best things in life are free.

      Lee

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  25. An incredible and excellent presentation of imprisionment! Very thought-provoking. Being a prisoner of hope is a great way to go through one's life. Shackles that need not be shed...
    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Michele, a prisoner of hope is a good thing to be. We should all be as such.

      Lee

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  26. I suppose I can be considered a prisoner of hope, but there is no place I would rather be. :) Great post, thank you so much for sharing, and thanks, as well, for your kind comment on my blog, I really appreciate it. Please know that you are welcome anytime.

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    1. Linda, and thank you for dropping by here.

      Lee

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  27. "A writer can be a prisoner of word counts, research, the computer, and even their blogs." Oh, so true. Thanks for an insightful post. And I'm intrigued by the Battle of the Bands!

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    1. Yvonne, I do hope you will return to vote on the next Battle and be sure to visit Guilie's guest post.

      Lee

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  28. I'm happy to be a prisoner of hope (most of the time), but as someone trapped in a few situations because I didn't say no, and miserable because of it, your words struck me there.

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    1. Shannon, I think I know what you are saying. I've obligated myself at times and then wished I hadn't have done it because it became such a big hassle. Sometimes trying to be nice backfires on us.

      Lee

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  29. Very thought provoking post. In the end, it depends on our view whether we wish to be a prisoner or break free. it reminds me of a Jewish man, Hans Litten, who actually brought Hitler to court. Later on he was imprisoned but he told the guards that they can never imprison his thoughts-his thoughts will always be free. He did commit suicide after much torture and degradation at the hands of the Nazis but his freedom to think brings hope. If he could state this under such horrible conditions, we should be able to as well.

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    1. Birgit, many are the stories throughout history of those who suffered and struggled against great odds while fueled with little more than hope. I think hope goes hand in hand with freedom.

      Lee

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  30. This is one of my favorite posts from you. You touched on many things I can relate to, especially addiction. Both my husband and I are recovering addicts. It's a journey that never ends and although I've been sober over 20 years, there are times I can still feel like a prisoner to my disease. Turning that imprisonment to hope is a much better alternative. Great post, Arlee. Love it!!

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    1. Elsie, wow, you made my day with this compliment. Your kind of story embodies much of what I was thinking when I wrote this.

      Lee

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  31. I think I'm a prisoner of hope. Probably other things, too, but certainly hope.

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    1. Carol, I hope we are all prisoners of hope.

      Lee

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  32. O my goodness Arlee, great post thank you. Many of us are prisoners, sometimes of our own making .. eg addictions of whatever kind. Or just plain and simple and not so wonderful complacency, fearful of breaking free of the boundaries that keep us trapped.

    I can't begin to imagine what the BOTB will be ... await with anticipation!

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    1. Susan S, I think we could use the metaphor of prison in some aspect of all of our lives. Guilie will name my song on her Wed. guest post here. We are having a collaborative week in a way.

      Lee

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  33. For me, hope is the thing that doesn't make me feel imprisoned. Hope is that light just out of my reach that let's me push myself forward when my mind says there's nothing else to gain from a situation.

    But there's plenty of other prisons...

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    1. Cherdo, indeed hope does and should give us a sense of more freedom, but sometimes when we can only cling to hope and our objectives seem such a long time coming it can require not only hope, but a lot of faith.

      Lee

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  34. What a lovely post. Yes, I've been a prisoner of Hope, still am. I hope always for the best. I look forward to things. I have great expectations for my children, and I believe the world can be a more peaceful place. Amen.

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    1. Thank you, Mary. We should all have hope. You're right about the world being better if hope was within all of us.

      Lee

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  35. As my favorite writer, Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn, once wrote, "When the body is confined, what broad horizons are open to the mind and soul!" He felt his eight years in Siberia really caused his spiritual rebirth, and forced him to focus on the most important things in life. Something must've worked, since he went from a Soviet atheist to a devout Russian Orthodox Christian over the course of his life.

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    1. Carrie-Anne, I think confinement can bring on that transition to the person with that mindset. One certainly has time for introspection and thinking beyond one's cell walls.

      Lee

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  36. I would definitely like to think I am a prisoner of Hope. For to me, Hope is not merely a wish for a certain favourable outcome; it's rather a certainty of that outcome. That's the difference that prompts you to persevere though odds may be against you.
    As for prisoners - I always say the worst kind of captive, is one that is unaware. To that, one must consider carefully what occupies their thoughts and actions most often. For what your mind ponders most; there is your heart. So, think carefully. I like what my pastor always says: what you feed, will grow.
    So yes, I choose to feed Hope.

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    1. Rory, I think you're correct. The insistence of our thinking becomes the nature of our world outlook. It's the be careful what you wish for concept.

      Lee

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  37. First, I don't know the band or music you mentioned so I'm going to skip that part. lol

    Second, this is an interesting thing you've written. I hadn't ever thought about prison as a metaphor, yet as you wrote it I was thinking that yes, I'm a victim of it, based on how you described it. I'm a prisoner of my own mental limitations, that's for sure. I know what I'm good at but I also know what I'm bad at, and many times the bad part overrules the good part to the extent that I stop trying to be... well, whatever good I happen to want to do at that time.

    It's a hard prison to escape, that of the mind.

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  38. Mitch, the mind is what limits us the most. Walls might contain our bodies, but our minds can take us as far as we are willing to go.

    Lee

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Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee