I didn’t know it then but when I was a young boy I had immense freedom:
I was free of worry because everything I required was taken care of;
I lived in a quiet place on a hill, away from the city, with nature at my door and neighbours far away;
I spent time outside, – not inside exploring some technological wonder like an iPhone or TV or such, because we had none of that, bar an old crackly valve radio;
There was peace in my life, others around me made sure of that and shielded me as much as possible from the turbulence of life and its tragedies.
As I grew up Freedom retained its core importance in my life. It took on new facets like responsibility and conscience. It wasn’t always easy to be free as life got busy. Often it felt that the default was being ‘not free.’
From having had immense freedom, pure freedom, freedom to be myself within a very loose framework of upbringing, every ounce of that freedom now had to be fought for.
My deep love for Freedom has been a guiding thread all my life. When I felt as if something was encroaching on my freedom I would deal with it. That voice of Freedom inside me would become quite loud and demanding. Like when I took stuff I should have rather left alone. Or when I felt the roof was caving in over my head and I had to escape.
But, even the voice of Freedom must have gotten tired along the way because another voice far cleverer, knowing everything much better, assumed governance over my affairs. It used something called logic. Not logics logic, but my super-logic, and my super-logic stipulated that if something makes money then Freedom is out of the equation. That ‘it’ was of course my ‘brilliant’ mind. For a while it even seemed to really be brilliant. The reason for that deduction was simple. Money gave ‘freedom.’ However on closer inspection the ‘more money’ actually led me to mortgage my freedom in return. In my flawed business model of life the more I wanted the greater my dedication to being a prostitute in my business became. One side effect was that I built up this non-caring, ‘mercenary’ attitude as long as it served my purpose. It also created an unbearable discomfort in the background. Freedom never actually gave up its claim over me. It was so deeply engrained from early on that it was part of me. My craving for freedom grew proportionately to the amount I ignored it. It expressed its desire to be acknowledged by stepping on its own accelerator and that had the label of ‘extreme’ pasted over it. Oh boy, now I was in for a ride and a half as that desire sought fulfilment in adventure. Naturally drawn towards adventure in any case, Freedom knew exactly what buttons to press. These buttons did not come cheap either and so a cycle started that eventually had to find an exit point.
To be free is my natural way of being. I shouldn’t even have to insist on it. My spirit wants to soar and has to be free to maintain sanity. But how do I regain that freedom from that ball and chain around my spirit?
The answer as always is simple. The path to the answer however was a maze. Determined to find one, even despair was no permanent obstruction for Freedom to triumph.
I looked at the issues that bother and burden me: like an ex that did something or my fasting bank account. Then I go and meditate, creating the picture of the issues to the vision of the thought, “I am free.” Now I did it. I said it. I declared my intent and I might have to reiterate once or twice but the issues have been shown the door.
Whatever it is that obstructs the very core of myself to function as per ‘design,’ it needs to be exposed. In the process it helps to be honest with myself.
To me the question not to forget is, “What would Freedom say?”