You’re probably picturing little cardboard boxes piled up on top of each other. Now imagine these little brown boxes are in your head. And each one of them contains a unique thought, memory and experience. And each one is tightly packed as though it’s going to be shipped somewhere.

But these little boxes aren’t going anywhere. They are piled up neatly in the deep, dark recesses of your mind and they are heavy. Too heavy, in fact, to move. And as you go about your day-to-day life, you unconsciously add new people, thoughts and experiences into the little boxes that contain similar things.

You meet someone new. New person reminds you of old person who lied to you, so new person goes into the box of people who lied to you. You encounter a new situation, but it’s just as uncomfortable as sitting in the dentist’s chair as the hygenist scrapes the tartar off your teeth. So it slips into a box called “yucky situations that suck but have to be tolerated.” You make a mistake and it falls into the biggest box of all: The box labeled “I’m an idiot and I always make the same mistakes. For God’s sake when am I going to learn? I’m such a bad person.”

Suddenly these innocuous little boxes that were once organizing your life and helping you make sense of the new become dangerously heavy and hard-to-move beliefs. Suddenly, you are just a jaded person who makes unfair associations about new people, situations and experiences. You don’t allow the uniqueness of each new thing to unfold because you are busy packing it up into a little box just to make yourself comfortable.

What if you stopped putting similar people in the same little boxes? What if you became conscious of the unconscious associations you’ve been making? What if you didn’t put people, experiences and thoughts in boxes at all? What if you let the new be the new?

Start unpacking. Give the new the chance to be something different. See what happens.

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Sona Khosla

Hello! My name is Sona Khosla and I hope this blog brings you new perspectives, insights and ideas for your life—whether they are written by me or someone from my community.

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