Just what is freedom? What does it mean to you? Yes, it’s inalienable rights and life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But what does it mean for you on a personal level? On a gut level? From the inside out?
Does it mean a lack of obligations? Not needing to work? No financial concerns or any need to bother yourself with domestic tasks?
But, how can I be free?, you ask. I have to work. I have to take care of my family. I have obligations.
I hear you.
Yes. Me, too. But, first and foremost, I would suggest that freedom isn’t necessarily just the absence of those outer bindings. And anyway, most of us don’t fall into those categories.
So, what does freedom mean to you? That inner freedom? Think about it as I tell you what it means to me.
Soothing the rough patches
Several years ago, my husband had a very serious eye issue. It required lots of doctor visits, including specialists in New York City. I had to take over his normal day-to-day tasks, like bill paying and laundry and garbage detail. He needed more of my attention for many things. All of which I was happy to do.
But – and this was new for me – in the midst of this I made sure I tended to me. I walked with a friend. I worked on my writing. I worked with my clients. Some things had to be put on the back burner but I reminded myself that a back burner is not the dumpster. I checked in with my heart and figured out what most wanted to be done and then decided what I could do. Then I let go of what I couldn’t do for the time being. Conscious choices – freedom. Weaving in the joyful, rich moments (he couldn’t watch TV so we listened to a lot of music) with the dreary mundane moments (laundry).
This is freedom to me:
- The ability to take a Potent Pause to remember who I am at my essence and what I’m on this earth for.
- Being able to choose my actions and reactions and include myself in those choices.
- Knowing how to reframe a situation and find those choices. (What can I do, as opposed to what I can’t do.)
- A deep understanding that, regardless of what is on my plate, there are places and ways and moments in life that will bring me pleasure, satisfaction, and joy.
- Remembering that while life is always shifting, throwing me curves, challenging me, I can stand tall in my own brilliance.
- The vow – to myself – to remain true to that brilliance for better or worse, in sickness and in health, till death kicks me out of here. Even if only in short snippets. Even in the midst of health emergencies, pandemics and general craziness.
It’s an inner freedom that no one can take away from me.
It’s an act of faith, an opening to grace.
It is a conscious and deliberate step off the hamster wheel.
It is my Multidimensional Life.
What is freedom for you?