Ah…freedom. Such a delicious idea. But are we ever really free?
Sometimes we seek freedom from the daily grind. We percieve our responsibilities and obligations as tying us down or preventing us from doing what we want to do. Sometimes we think we don’t have enough time or resources to really live freely. We seek wealth because we think it will give us more freedom.
The body has limits, some more than others, but every human body has a time limit for sure. All life has systems and structures through which everything functions. Schedules like years, days, hours and minutes. Things that have to be done to maintain life like eating and sleeping, creating a habitat, forming families and communities. We’ve been doing these things since the beginning of time. Do these structures imprison us or is it something else we seek freedom from?
The mind has total freedom to wander where it will, but some thoughts and emotions can bind us. Thoughts can create unreasonable limits, self doubt, and unnecessary boundaries. We can be trapped in fear and unrealistic expectations without even knowing it. The secret to living freely is to be open to new ideas, to be respectful of life’s patterns, and to embrace growth as the only constant. We are born, we live, and we die. The nature of life is growth and creativity, so that is what we are free to do.
When we feel frustraited, limited, bound, imprisoned, stifeled and restricted, it’s usually because concepts and emotions are out of place or misdirected. It may be the ideas and expectations of others, or your own. It may be the methods and models that others have used to create the society in which we live and the rules within which most of us function, or not. Because freedom itself is a concept that we have associated with our personal expectations.
What makes you feel free?
My view is that limits and structures are not binding, but instead they form the basis of security which allows us to be free. We learn to trust the cycles of life and the natural patterns within it. Growing familiar with our abilities and weaknesses we learn what we can do. We become trusting and trustworthy in relation to others. All of this gives us freedom to be, to do, and to create our lives. Unless we get stuck by our misunderstandings, our concepts and feelings about ourselves and others, we are free.
I feel free in nature as long as I know where I am and that there are resources nearby. I feel free when I’m traveling as long as there’s gas in the car, money in my pocket, or I’m flying with a trustworthy airline. I feel free when I have good information that helps me make good decisions. I feel free when I’m with people I know I can trust. I feel free when I’m doing things I enjoy, or learning and growing through things that are difficult.
Freedom makes me feel fortunate
Historically the definition of “fortune” has often been tied to money or material wealth – “He made a fortune”. We consider the lives of people who live in poverty to be unfortunate. When someone has been successful in some aspect of their life we call them fortunate. Some people even relate fortune to beauty or other physical attributes. But is wealth, success or beauty truely the measure of fortune?
I consider myself fortunate to have a free mind that can imagine and learn. I’m fortunate because I can make choices based on my conscience and values. I feel fortunate to have a loving family and friends who care about me and stick by me through the good times and the bad. Those are the same things that make me feel free – to be myself and to live the best life I can.