When Your Refuge Becomes Your Prison

A refuge is supposed to be a safe place that you can depend in the days of trouble. But sometimes, a refuge could become so comfortable, that before we realize it, it has turned into a prison that separates us from the world outside.

Do you have a hobby? Or should I say, an obsession? It distracts you from the worries of the world, and it turns an escape when the pressures became too much.

It could take many forms: fictions, gaming, chatting, shopping, TV shows, social media, sex, or whatever. The possibility is endless. It filled you with colors, temporary happiness, and almost a sense of fulfillment.

Yet when those activities are taken from you, you found yourself being surrounded by a strange feeling of emptiness. Suddenly, the world turns strangely quiet. Why? Did you unknowingly let those activities define your happiness?

Have you ever thought that as you love those activities… without realizing it, it has consumed so much of your time? I’m not saying these activities are necessarily bad. After all, we do need a break sometimes. But anything taken to the extreme is never good.

I too, struggle with many things. And sometimes, I found myself spending hours, becoming immersed in the world of this fake, temporal refuge.

This prison is both physical and psychological.

First, it made us lazy to go outside and meet other people. We became reluctant to help or meet another person, to lend a helping hand if it doesn’t benefit us.

Slowly, before we know it, our world shrinks into a small and limited boundary consisting of our home, school, office, a neighborhood coffee shop, and sometimes a shopping mall. Yes, there may not be literal iron bars surrounding our room. But we are confined within these four walls nonetheless. And sometimes, our vision too, is constricted within the four squares of our computer and smartphone screen.

Our mind became distracted, as we drift from one TV show to another, one novel to another, and one obsession to another.
Without meaning to, we forget the more important things in life: the relationships we could’ve built, the new things we could’ve learned, and the difference we could’ve made.

So right now, I want to challenge you to step out of this prison, to step out of your comfort zone. This journey is yours, as much as it is mine. So let us do this together.

Lift your eyes beyond your computer screen and look around you. You don’t have to travel to the other end of the world to do good and charitable deeds. Simply start by being a listening ear to your friends, to show others that we care. And let us start walking towards our neighbors who needed help.

Read a new book, (a non-fiction one if you could). Start a new hobby. Start engaging one another in a thoughtful conversation. Listen. Take a walk beyond the concrete jungle and take a moment to observe nature and its beauty.

And above all, remember to be thankful for the new little things that you will see in life as we walk out of this prison… to a new, hopeful beginning.


Photograph by Amelia




7 thoughts on “When Your Refuge Becomes Your Prison”

    1. Haii manda! How are you? 😀
      If your refuge is truly your relationship with God, then there’s nothing wrong with that. But again, I think we must be careful so that we would not be so caught up in “practicing religion” and being all “religious” for our own benefits, that we forget how to be a blessing for others.

  1. Very well written, I too have found myself in that same position of isolation at one time in my life. Then when I started to live by the moment and appreciate the little things in life, from noticing the birds chirping outside and the subtle breeze of wind I feel when I have my mourning coffee on the front porch, those shackles that had me isolated disappeared and life is a wonderful feeling every waking moment. Great inspiring post! 🙂

    1. Thank you! 🙂 yes, I agree with you. Finding joy in little things and be more observant of the surroundings are certainly some of the ways in which we can try to find balance and not getting caught up in our narrow world. 🙂

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