How do these words land on you?
Freedom in this sense, to me means from the mind - the chains are of hard-wired neural pathways laid since childhood, a long and deep conditioning, - the egoic identity which seems to be in full control, without my say so!
My likes and dislikes, habits, aversions, my ideas, stubborness and ways of behaving - all of the subtle things that make me, me.
And this is by no means suggesting that one should stop being ‘yourself’ in order to ‘be free’. This may seem absurd when happy and leading a fulfilling life.
For me tho, my habits, reactivity and behaviours led me down a very destructive path - detrimental to my health, career, relationships and overall well-being.
And the thing with habitual reactivity / behaviours is that they are so ingrained and hard-wired into the brain, they are literally performed without thinking, without present moment awareness. Autopilot mode.
So without my awareness (which was most of the day) - as I’d be busy in my head ruminating, catastrophising, judging, wishing, plotting - these behaviours are carried out without my say so.
And if they are causing so much trouble for me, so much drama and agony - then ultimately, I’m a slave to my habits, behaviours.
The words seem strong, but simply speaking from experience. The saying goes that to break free first you need know that you are trapped.
My own existence became so painful that I had no other option but to face myself in order to learn about how and why things were the way there. Slowing down and cultivating a bit of awareness leads being able to see oneself - personality traits, characteristics, thought patterns and behaviours, how I impact those around me - I never did this until I had no choice.
So freedom may simply to be to let go, of anything not serving you, of anything that is causing pain or suffering of anything that is not leading you to your highest / ideal self.
This is not easy and anybody who’s ventured within will know this - we carry so much emotional baggage, trauma and personal, familial and cultural conditioning - so freedom is not cheap.
It will cost many sleepless nights, the intense heat of guilt or shame or embarrassment, perhaps lost friendships & family fall-out, certainly of being mis-understood, even the lack of willingness to partake in the usual activities that bring one pleasure, the self-judgment when attempting to live and be without the many different masks…and much more.
Freedom demands courage, to be raw, to be authentic, to be vulnerable, to surrender and to let go. it requires humility and acceptance and especially compassion towards oneself.
It’s a life-long process. But if not starting now, when?
I think, feel and know in my heart this is what the world requires most in this moment.
If the pandemic was the psychedelic and psychological journey - scary as fuck, enlightening, challenging and full of realisation - we are firmly in the integration process.
Wide open with lots to contemplate, reflect upon and eventually apply…
Seems like freedom does cost, but no cash…just your entire being.
I reckon it will be worth the journey tho… Who’s in?