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Who are you? Are you a mother, father, child, friend Dante Pettis Jersey , spiritual seeker, doctor, lawyer, teacher, business person? A husband or wife?

And what kind of person are you? A good person, a not-so-good person? Smart or stupid, graceful or clumsy? Are you talented, bold, wimpy Mike McGlinchey Jersey , fearless, fearful, articulate, shy? Do you enjoy taking risks, or are you afraid to try new things? Do you like to let it all hang out, or are you shut up like a clam? Whatever your answers, you will almost certainly have a fair number of pretty definite beliefs and opinions about yourself. And those beliefs and opinions, whether expressed or not, will limit and define you as certainly as if they were made out of concrete and steel.

Several years ago a magnificent young tiger was imported from India and shipped to a local zoo in the States. A beautiful and expansive habitat was built for him Matt Breida Jersey , complete with waterfall, trees, rocks, valleys and caves. While the building was going on, the tiger was housed in a small temporary cage, approximately 30 by 30 feet. It spent its days continuously pacing the cage from one end to the other. This cage was originally intended to house the tiger on a very temporary basis ? for only a couple of weeks- but the building took longer than expected and the tiger actually remained in the cage for several months. When the habitat was finally complete, the cage was lowered into it, opened, and removed. The tiger almost immediately resumed pacing ? 30 feet forward and 30 feet back. It no longer needed the small cage to limit and confine it; this cage George Kittle Jersey , which once surrounded the tiger, had been transplanted into the tiger?s mind.

A similar mechansim is familiar to the people who train elephants. When the elephant is young and small, it is strongly tethered to something large and heavy; a strong stake or a tree. The elephant pulls and tugs, but cannot free itself, and eventually gives up, confining its movements to the length of the rope. As soon as this happens, the tree can be replaced by a small stake that the now much larger elephant could pull up in an instant. Only it doesn?t. Stake, rope, and confinement have become indelibly associated in the elephant mind.

Does this ring any bells for you?

Do you ever say to yourself: ?I can?t Jimmy Garoppolo Jersey , I?m just not that type?? If you answer ?no?, look harder, because in one arena or another we all do. Some people can?t parachute out of planes. Some of us just can?t keep our houses organized. Some of us can?t stop overeating or overdrinking. Some can?t talk about our feelings. Some can?t get ourselves to work, and others can?t stop working. And we almost always think we know, in any given area, whether we have what it takes, or not.

Just like our zoological friends, the ties that bind us are almost always thicker, stronger and more real as they exist inside our heads than they are in the actual physical world. The way we react to our beliefs about ourselves Jerry Rice Jersey , life, other people, and what we can and can?t do is no different than the tiger?s reaction to his months in the cage or the elephant?s to his rope.

We don?t start out life with fixed ideas about who we are and what we can and can?t do, but we begin to develop them pretty quickly, and continue to reinforce them as we go along. If you decide as a small child that your ideas are not important, chances are that throughout life you will continue to act on that belief, avoiding sharing your ideas with others and thus having little influence on the people around you. This pattern of behavior, of course, will continue to ensure that very few people will seek out your opinions or advice Joe Montana Jersey , continuously providing more evidence for your original belief. This is one definition of a vicious cycle. However, remember that this doesn?t make you unusual. Virtually every human being, no matter how functional his upbringing, has some fixed ideas about who he is ? and who he isn?t.

But Kabbalah explains this phenomenon in a deeper way.

Since caught in the act of eating from the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden and exiled into a world of hardship, pain, death and the struggle for survival, we human beings have been imbued with feelings of fear, insecurity, shame Cheap 49ers Hats , guilt, self-consciousness, failure, and the pervasive sense of being exiled from home. A good portion of our lives consists of trying to deny, overcome or compensate for these feelings. At first glance this seems like an enormous problem. It takes a massive amount of time and effort to constantly be fighting to overcome our inner flaws and fears. But in fact, this seminal event, with all of its challenging consequences, is neither a problem nor a mistake and actually has a Divine purpose.

Kabbalah explains that G-d first looked into the Torah (the Bible) and only then created the world. That means before G-d even created the world, He foresaw the entire scenario in the Garden of Eden Cheap 49ers T-Shirts , including the eating of the forbidden fruit and the exile that would follow. As paradoxical as it seems at first glance, this scenario is actually fundamental to creation itself.

Let me explain.

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