We come back again and again to the issue of freedom. We want to be free, unconstrained, at liberty, unhindered…
When asked what we want to be free to do, what dreams to actually pursue, what visions to work towards, many are stuck. Thinking single-mindedly about what we want to get away from, what is lacking in our lives, what is unfair and what we want to be unconstrained from, has masked the fact we have become addicted, dependent on our feeling of lack, being at effect of forces external to us.
Presented with freedom we are unsure what to do, like a caged bird afraid to leave his prison and take flight. Will the air keep me aflight? Isn’t it dangerous up there? Aren’t there predators outside of the cage? Will there always be food? Won’t it get cold?
Who and what circumstances would we blame for if we were fully responsible for our life, our decisions? How would we weigh commitments, obligations, duties against our preferences if we actually had the choice? Would we lose our drive if we gave up our inner daemons, isn’t inner conflict a prime motivation for achievement? If something bad happened would it have been of our choice?
We are Afraid to Fully Own Our Decisions
The reason we are not free (at least for most people in the Western world) is that we are afraid to fully own our decisions. We are addicted to having someone or something to blame for the imperfections in our lives. We feel cozy, familiar, safe in our cage of necessities and external forces. We cling to the idea that if only we could decide our own destiny then things would be perfect. And we are so afraid to find out that no matter how much “freedom” we have, there will always be imperfection, suffering and lack.
“Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear is a freedom.” – Marilyn Ferguson
“Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you.” – Sartre
“Freedom is nothing else but a chance to be better.” – Albert Camus
“As far as your self-control goes, as far goes your freedom.” – Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach
“Freedom lies in being bold.” – Robert Frost
Give Yourself Permission to Take Flight
We are as free as we allow ourselves to be, as we give ourself permission, as we dare to be. If only we see that our cage is self-chosen, that it is for fear of the adventure, of the infiniteness of the world outside the cage, of difficult decisions that we remain unfree.
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” – Anais Nin
“We are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of our own minds.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
We can venture out into the world, let the wind blow in our face, savor every adventure, every opportunity, every challenge.
The cage door is open, there is no cage door, there is no cage.