We hear a lot about freedom from politicians and life coaches. But freedom seems a bit vapory to me. Freedom to, what, exactly? Last week, I started asking people, What does freedom look like to you?
Here are some of the answers people gave me.
- Having the ability and right to make decisions for myself.
- The ability to help myself and help others.
- Being without addictions.
- Being able to set boundaries with others.
- Listening to good music.
- Artistic expression.
- Being able to explore and change my views of the universe.
No one I asked mentioned weapons or money. They all described internal states and liberties. Freedom feels internal to me too. Truth. Beauty. Love. Things I have with me no matter where I am or who is in power. Things that cut across religious and cultural divides. I’m able to think fluidly, use my reason and intuition, my senses and hunches and emotions, to guide my behavior and beliefs. I can create loveliness with words or gum-wrappers. I can love others and feel their love coming back to me, even if we’re hundreds of miles apart. I have access to what’s inside. I’m not a slave to substances.
Writing to Get Freedom
For me, writing leads to freedom . . . especially writing about relationships, religious and spiritual oppression, bullying, domination, or abuse. As I dare to write my emotional truth, I explore the dark side of my human experience. I go through the slimy tunnel and out the other side. That’s where I find truth, beauty, and love as I experience them. One leads to the other. Writing the horror and the struggle clarifies the real questions to be answered, Who Am I? Why has this been my path? What have I learned from it? What’s my life’s curriculum?
Going through this process, I get more mentally free.
In the spirit of these questions, here’s an exercise. This might get you started on your own life-writing or social commentary. Get out your journal and pen and start writing. Give yourself five minutes on each question. Set a timer and be sure to stop when it dings.
- What do you absolutely have to have in your life, in order to be okay?
- Why do you think those are what’s necessary for you?
- What is your number one core belief about the universe?
- How did you develop that core belief?
- When do you feel most free?
Drop me a line. I’d love to hear from you.
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