Emotional Constraints Of Circles…How To Break Free?


Playing in circles have been the games of children, the most memorable one – ‘I wrote a letter to my father, on the way I dropped it…’ Circles never release us even when we grow out of those childhood games.

Emotions define us and make us human but they weaken us, as they possess the power to drag us down and go round and round in circles.

Life itself is an uncanny circle, William Shakespeare described it so well in his poem “The Seven Ages Of Man.” Can you escape it? Can you separate the emotional aspects of spheres that keep entangling you?

Natural gifts of the sun and the moon accentuate the role of circles in our lives. Whosoever thought that a marriage can be solemnized by going around in circles around the holy fire (fire-deity) must have got inspired from these truths of nature.

They overlooked the fact that moon doesn’t appear to be in its form all the time and the sun is too hot, symbolic of the heat generated by a marriage. They also ignored that when a sun is enclosed by clouds, it becomes powerless.

When you go round and round in circles, you don’t reach anywhere. It can be very agonizing and frustrating. Nothing seems to work according to your wishes and plans.

Whether it is a marriage or a stressful relationship, a job that you can’t afford to quit or family affairs that make you go round and round, offering no viable solution, life can become a struggle.

“Round and round in circles we go, clutching at successes we never grasp, endlessly tripping over the same old failures. Truly, life is the misery we endure between disappointments.” – Joe Abercrombie

All you need is change but it could seem impossible, scary and grim. My friend Lisa Thomson often speaks about it and how liberating change can be. But there are caveats attached to life-changing decisions and they are not easy. Emotional restrictions raise their heads most fiercely.

The struggle continues and sucks life out of you every single day.

When stepping out of the circles is not possible, liberation from asphyxiating circumstances can be done in our own way by the following steps, one at a time. Remember – ‘a single step can make the longest journey.’

Acceptance: If you don’t want to change, you need to accept the fact. It would bring some mental peace and calmness in the charged atmosphere. Certain things never change. Some people refuse to accept their role in creating unpleasantness. Learn to find your strength and confidence by leaving them with their perceptions. You can never change them.

Set your standards: Live according to your own desires and principles. Don’t sacrifice yourself and your own happiness for others, whosoever they may be. Never feel fettered to the ground situation. Think positive and follow the sunshine. Dark clouds have to disintegrate one day.circles-of-life

Live life in your own way: Don’t get intimidated or influenced by the emotions of others. Do what seems right and start taking your own decisions. Nurture self-love for healthy mental attitude. Compassion for our own self is equally important. Stop accepting excuses.

Lower your expectations: You may remain your former self and let your goodness permeate your surroundings. Be positive but don’t expect anything in return. Let that message pass around to all who try to annoy you with their petty acts.

Nurture hope. If you don’t have any hope from people around you, if they have disappointed you each time, have faith in yourself. You deserve better surroundings and better opportunities. Eventually you will find them. Karma steps in you reward you for your patience and benevolence.

Life may be circular but its circumference keeps getting wider for us to grow.

I am sure you can relate to these circles of life. Have you tried to step out? I would call that a very valiant attempt. Getting off the merry go round and boarding it again is indeed intrepid. Please share your thoughts about it.

Thank you for reading this. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

If you have liked this article, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.

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48 thoughts on “Emotional Constraints Of Circles…How To Break Free?

  1. So well expressed. Loved reading every word of it. I’ve always lived with the maxim – live your life your own way. Love yourself and don’t let people affect your moods or mar your happiness. But I agree that it is easier said than done. You really have to have a great determination and will power for that. Even the valiant get pulled down several times. I have always been a Hindi movies buff and I drive inspiration from many Hindi songs one of them goes like this – ‘yeh Jeevan hae ish Jeevan ka yehi hae rung roop thoreh gum hae thorhee khushian yehi hae rung roop.’

    1. Thank you Baldeep, so happy to see you here. Self-love, which is pushed aside by our values and culture needs to be nurtured to take our own decisions. When we start respecting others’ desires too much, we tend to forget our own self. 🙂

  2. ‘Life may be circular but its circumference keeps getting wider for us to grow.’ How simply and nicely you have put it Balroop.
    True that doubts will keep on surfacing from time, perhaps that’s why a strong conviction and a positive perspective is needed to garner the gumption to go through the grind without letting negativity of others pull you down.

    1. Thank you Somali, I have always learnt from each situation of life and it surely contributes to the development of our personality. Positivity steps in when we refuse to get shoved by negative vibes around us…most of it depends on our own attitude towards life. Have a nice week. 🙂

  3. Oh yes Balroop I can certainly relate to the circles in Life.. Also another saying is what goes around comes around, showing us life is indeed a circle..
    And interestingly Nature agrees with us..
    I have never seen a square nest have you? 😉

    Breaking free of the perpetual motion means we have to create a different circle of energy.. Energy is energy and will always come back to its source of creation.. So if we are the ones creating or perhaps wallowing in a negative vibration much more of that energy will keep on returning to us as it stays within our vibration

    When we shift out of that circle of negative, and embrace a positive outlook embracing those traits you have mentions we then help shift that energy to encompass a new circle of thinking..

    Loved your post Balroop, sometimes all it needs is a shift in our perception to get off of that endless merry go round..

    Love and Hugs dear friend
    Sue xxx

    1. The circle of life completes itself when what we have given comes back! How true!
      You are right Sue, a nest is always circular…thanks for adding such a profound point to this discussion. 🙂

      We possess the power to convert negative vibes into positive energy but for that we have to depend only on our own confidence and positivity. People around us could be doubting us, even creating obstacles to dampen our spirits but we need to strengthen our determination to keep going. Emotions and attachments do restrict us to jump off this merry-go-round.

      Thank you dear friend for such a thoughtful perspective. Love and hugs back to you too.

      1. I agree about the attachments and our deep seated emotions restrict us.. It took many years to let go of one particular hurt, and when I thought I had let it go even more emotions were still to serface.. But that particualr merry go round is now slowing, and I think I have almost jumped from its clasp 😉
        Loved all you had to say Balroop.. Love and Blessings in all you do xxx

  4. Thank you so much for the lovely mention, Balroop! I tend to like circles although I’ve broken out of a few of them.

    “Playing in circles have been the games of children…” Yes and when the circle breaks, one or more get away. I never thought of circles as entrapment but indeed the way you’ve explained it here, it is true. We go round and round without changing anything…I’ve been there! Speaking of shapes,triangles get a bad reputation. Where there are 3 people there is conflict (at least that’s what my old therapist said 😉 )

    Interesting post as always Balroop!

    1. The pleasure is mine Lisa. I always think of you whenever somebody shows weakness or indecision.
      Some circles are self-imposed and some are gifted by destiny. There was a time when I thought we can change everything but life has taught me some profound lessons…one of which is that certain situations can’t be changed due to negative effects attached to them. So one has to keep round and round, waiting for the right time. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  5. Such a great topic, Balroop. I think as kids we don’t mind going around in circles sometimes – to kids, it can be a game trying to keep going or find a way. Sort of when they try to solve a puzzle 🙂

    But as adults, going in circled can indeed be stressful as you mentioned. We feel less productive and maybe feel like we don’t have what it takes to make it. Last year I decided to change my blogging habits. Blogging once a week seemed to much and too tiring for me. Now I blog once a month and it certainly gives me time to have a life 🙂

    1. Thank you Mabel, I am glad you liked the topic…circles seem so fascinating in childhood…the spinning game we played and fell down dizzily could become real life one day! Who could imagine that?

      Some stressful situations are in our hands but some are more complex. I am glad you found a solution to your blogging habit. I wonder how some bloggers blog every single day!! Many thanks for sharing your perspective here. Stay blessed. 🙂

  6. This is another powerful post Balroop, in addition to your wisdom you address something I think those who struggle often get consumed with, and that is listening to others rather than themselves. You’ve got a great quote: “Don’t get intimidated or influenced by the emotions of others. Do what seems right and start taking your own decisions.” that can be the most difficult thing to do at times, and may even create more chaos in your life in the short term, but when good times come around again (which they will) there will be the added confidence of doing things the way you knew they should be done. Wishing you a great week ahead Balroop 🙂

    1. Thank you Randall, I am glad you could understand my point so well…when we give too much, the expectations rise and our own self gets pushed to background. There is an old, cultural saying that people suppress you more if you let them do so even out of love. When we let others take all the decisions around us, they prove detrimental for our own personality. It may seem difficult but we have to make our space and refuse to be taken for granted.
      Best wishes for you too. Have a wonderful week. 🙂

      1. This old saying is very insightful. So many people, and in the many examples I give, it is the parents of kids that sometime get carried away with what they want for their children (safety and secure life) that push their expectations to a breaking point. Beautifully stated by you. 🙂

      2. So true! I have seen many such parents. Asian culture emphasises expectations and cultural compulsions are very difficult to brush aside. 🙂

      1. The ‘best fit’ will very much depends on the individual. How do you define success? Some people define it in terms of earnings and portfolio (company shares, property or even personal conquest etc?).

  7. Your write up are so motivational and inspiring. It’s a fact that we all need to accept that life is far from perfect. Each of us has our own share of problems. While for some accepting the problem and making a change is simple, that’s not the case with others. That’s where it gets complicated. In my experience, beyond monetary and health issues, human relationships makes things much more complicated.
    Lovely write up…as always!

    1. Yes arv, though monetary and health issues are no less peeving, relationships are far more complex. While the former problems can be solved if we make sincere efforts, the latter stick to us as relationships are a two way process, with lots of emotions that entangle us into that mythological chakraview!
      Thank you for sharing your reflections, much appreciated. 🙂

  8. That cyclical circle tells us that when we are down we will be up again. And when we are up we can appreciate the things we learned when we we’re down.

  9. I loved the analogy here of the circles in life. Indeed we can tend to feel locked in a never ending circle at times. Even life is a circle that comes round and meets us again in unexpected ways. The trick is to learn to ride the tides, remaining grateful for the positive in our lives, and learn to ride with grace, and exit when our inner self informs us it’s time. 🙂

    1. Thank you dg for dropping by and sharing your thoughts. Feeling locked and finding no way out is indeed very traumatic…only those who feel trapped can understand just like that cliche of ‘where the shoe pinches!’
      Learning to ride the tides may take a whole life especially if the circles have constraints and responsibilities. We think of our inner self only when we feel free. I have seen such persons who want a way out but feel fettered.

  10. What a beautiful post, Balroop. I love the image of life’s circumference getting wider. As above, so below. You are a kindred spirit, my friend ❤

  11. It’s good to see Lisa mentioned in your post. I’ve been in the process of reassessing the standards I’ve set for myself over the years. I accomplished a lot for myself, yes, but at the same time I realize too how I changed my standards to help the ex achieve things–and he didn’t really do the same for me. It was a vicious circle I’m glad to be out of.

    1. Lisa is a very dear friend and a realist, I love her honesty. I am so happy for you Jeri that you have steered yourself out of the vicious circle, the sooner the better before more responsibilities befall! Stay blessed and be happy.

  12. This is what is happening right now in my life Balroop. So your words arrive as blessings. Yes, acceptance is key. Some situations can’t be changed overnight. And I believe we should as well take care of ourselves, listen to our inner voice and try to find peace in the most unsettled situations.
    All things change at their own pace. Patience and Hope are key factors.
    Thank you my friend. You talked to my heart today.

    1. Thank you so much dear Marie, I am glad you found my words akin to blessings. I am feeling honored! Finding solace in challenging situations of life is quite hard but when we have no choice, resilience steps in to make us braver. Wishing you peace and patience. Love and hugs dear friend. 🙂

  13. I’ve spent a lifetime lowering expectations . . . lol. Very good post, Balroop. Lots of food for thought, and, after all, isn’t that the point of it all? Good job. 🙂

  14. hi Balroop. I’ve come to the conclusion that society creates a lot of the circles in our lives by creating the rules and our boundaries. That’s why your line about living your life your own way resonates with me. Living our light (and followiing our own truth) can help us break out of the circles of our darkness (society’s expectations).

    1. I agree with you Vishnu. I lot of cultural and societal boundaries hold us and we keep paying the ransom in various ways. However, emotional bindings are self-created and hard to let go. A mother who wants her children to have a healthy home and growth wouldn’t like to break her home for little conflicts or ego problems and therefore would have to go round and round! Emotions do kill our independent thinking in some ways.

  15. Emotional constraints of circles of life…gets juxtaposed with the cycle of life, the good and the bad. There are so many things that keeps happening around us and keep us in the loop, many times we get intrinsically entangled and look for ways and means to free us and liberate us from the burden of constraints we keep piling on us…we try doing different things by experiencing spiritualism to changing place to changing people we meet. We want to break that conundrum that acts like a cudgel and we feel trapped.

    The example of marriage is so apt and we feel assured that after taking that circle around the fire we are bonded for life and everything is considered sacrosanct but that is not what life is, there are so many different shades to life and we need know how to moderate and manage such facets. Two words that you have chosen “acceptance” and “expectation”, sums it all, once we start accepting things life presents a different angle to the way we live our life and when we start moderating the expectation, we start enjoying what is with us and not start brooding what we don’t get…

    Life is ultimately summed up in circles and cycles.
    Very thought provoking post as always…
    Hope you had beautiful Sunday.

    1. Hi Nihar, I am at the other end of this globe…my Sunday just started with a steaming cup of tea and your philosophical reflections. Thank you so much for the visit.
      Even holy fire conveys a message…life is going to be fiery, it says…beware and approach it cautiously! Nothing is sacrosanct till we learn to respect this word and discern the meaning…often people forget that. Many thanks for your interest and insights. 🙂 Stay blessed.

      1. Sunday morning with a steaming cup of tea, with leisurely sitting to reflect, is the best time get engrossed and enter into a dialogue with philosophical self.
        I agree holy fire conveys message and there is that word of caution and one need to know how the balance the need and want of life.
        Circles of life and the emotional turmoil we undergo makes us adept to newer level of challenges in our life…thanks for sharing such a insightful post on the very aspects of how we live our life.

  16. Life indeed is a circle, Balroop, and the infinity of it encompasses billions of concentric circles through which life journeys in myriads of ways. Life is cyclical and yet not monotonous as no two journeys are the same in its details. As the Elton John song goes, it is the circle of life where we move from despair to hope and between love and faith.

    1. Thank you Raj, for adding so much of depth to the circles of life. Subtly beautiful description! Your reflections always inspire to write further. 🙂

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