Freedom is our goal
Freedom from the cages we make for ourselves with our decisions. Freedom is nothing we can catch or win. Freedom has no boundaries. Freedom is this wide-open space.
Freedom is letting go of chasing things.
What is freedom?
Have you ever seen a pet rabbit that has escaped from its cage? It goes around the edges of the garden waiting for a cat, dog, or fox to eat it. This is because all that wide open space is just too big. Being in a cage has dulled its senses and taken away its ability to be alert, sense danger, and keep safe. Being in the cage has taken away its ability to make decisions.
Any child who releases their pet rabbit has choices too. She cannot just walk away. She must choose between putting the rabbit back in its cage – its ‘safe space.’ Or letting it run around until a dog finds it and tears it apart. Now the child begins to understand a little more about freedom. So, what is freedom without emotional education to set boundaries?
What does your freedom feel like?
Close your eyes and imagine it. ….. My freedom feels like the wind in the trees. It feels like miles of the silver sea stretched out before me and the wind blowing over it in ripples to greet me. Freedom is intoxicating at first. My freedom is a beach. What’s yours?
Freedom can be lonely too. Freedom involves being prepared to live way out of our emotional comfort zone. Freedom can feel very scary until we learn the emotional skills to enjoy it. I call this emotional evolution.
Freedom from labels
Freedom is beyond labels. Labels are limiting – success, failure, rich, single mother, childless. Deepak Chopra says that labels are defensive. There has to be more to us than this. By losing our labels we can gain our emotional freedom.
So what does your freedom feel like?
Freedom is a feeling that doesn’t last. It’s like jumping to grab hold of a balloon before it flies away. Freedom is a series of decisions we make every day – big and small. What to wear. Where to work. Who to love. How to be in the world. After a loss, we can lose our ability to make these decisions. At this point, we simply don’t trust ourselves. The world seems a big wide open scary place. Freedom is so big and so without rules that many of us choose to stay where we are – dead marriages, toxic relationships, and jobs we hate. Because we know the rules. There is comfort in what we know even if we hate it. We choose to stay in the cage.
The truth is freedom costs. It is not a simple opening of the cage as the child with the rabbit finds out. Freedom is about making our own decisions and this sometimes involves making mistakes – and learning from them. This is where your true wisdom lies – in your failures.
Out of the cage, if we decide to gain an emotional education, we can begin to choose exactly how we want to experience our new found freedom. Remember – we can always go back and learn some of the emotional skills we missed out on when we were younger. It’s never too late. There is no shame in returning to complete your emotional education. We may need to revisit and reframe grief, losses, abuse as well as learn how to show love, how to trust other people, and how to forgive betrayals. That’s a biggie.
In emotional evolution, we eventually find our own way in all that space, define our own boundaries, and experience the thrill of freedom. Then we can truly answer the question – How does freedom feel? And it feels amazing.
Article By Alice Smith, the creator of a 361 recovery program for women and a 361 Life Support network. Emotional evolution for 2020.