Freedom is an interesting topic. When people want to start a business, the main driving force behind that is “freedom.” It certainly sounds good, doesn’t it? After all, the general words used to describe formal employment is “the rat race.”
Even those who don’t want to start a business look for freedom…and it is promised at every turn.
Home of the free.
Come to Jesus and find freedom from the world.
Free yourself from your problems with this pill / drink / substance.
Freedom sounds good. No one likes to think that they’re somehow enslaved by something. We are wired, raised, and cultured to desire freedom. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, there’s a more important consideration.
What Is It That Has You Trapped?
You wouldn’t need freedom if you weren’t trapped. Freedom is a broad concept. It’s like a giant bucket that you can never quite fill. Sure, you’ll feel good if something is placed in there. “Finally, I’ve got some freedom!”
Yet, the feeling is fleeting, isn’t it? Do you ever truly feel free? The truth is, no. None of us do. If you say you do, you’re either lying to yourself or you’ll find out soon that what you currently feel doesn’t last. Everything is impermanent…and that can actually be a good thing.
To have freedom, though, you must be trapped. To fully experience what anyone would consider as freedom, we must explore what we think has us within its grasp. It could be more than one thing. Is it work stress? Money worries? Bad relationship? Not feeling smart enough? Not feeling confident? It could be anything, really. For some people, life truly is a struggle. Every single one of us could find areas in our life where we’d like to see improvement.
Is improvement freedom? Would you feel more free if you had a better job or would you decide it’s not good enough and doesn’t constitute freedom?
We can’t obtain freedom until we know exactly what oppresses us on an individual level. And don’t fall into the media’s droning on about oppression. Look at your life and your circumstances…and how you contribute to your own situation. When we take personal responsibility for our lives, or at least finding and implementing solutions to what bothers us, we will have the power to find freedom.
Freedom Isn’t Trading One Bad Situation for Another
You can’t have freedom if you don’t know what it is that’s trapped you. You can’t have freedom by trading one bad situation for another. It’s like saying, “I was in a physically abusive relationship. My former partner hit me a lot and pushed me down the stairs. I left. My new partner only hits me if they don’t like what I’m wearing.”
It’s still a bad situation. That’s not freedom. Freedom is not finding and justifying another problem as “not as bad as what I had.”
Then What Is Freedom?
Freedom is highly personalized. What I consider freedom is different from what someone else would consider freedom. Freedom is peace of mind. It is the right to feel joyful. It is the right to feel safe. It is the ability to be grateful and content. It is not something that is necessarily contingent on one other issue, such as a relationship. It is how you feel after you learn to cope and to put yourself first. And to hold yourself in a high regard. And to understand where you get stuck. It is understanding that the good, the bad, and the ugly are all impermanent. Much like tax law, it’s subject to change and get confusing. It’s understanding that life is never perfect. It can’t be. Life is about balance. We wouldn’t appreciate the good if we didn’t have an intimate relationship with the bad.
You Don’t Crave Freedom – You Crave Relief
You don’t crave freedom. You crave relief from what’s hurting you. The only way you’ll find that is to really explore what it is that’s hurting and look for, learn, and implement solutions for whatever it is causing the pain.