Liberty has been a major desire in my life for as long as I can remember. Freedom from the expectations of others. From the inner voices of ought, should and must. Free to be myself. Liberation from the why not’s that have stood in the way of excellence, significance, and fun.
The inner voices that bind us
Fun. Silliness. Being goofy. Teasing. Flirting. Dancing. Dancing like no one is watching. My life has had way less of all these things than I would have liked. The inner voices have somehow always been about: not being an embarrassment, growing up, and being responsible. It is as though an invisible hand has constantly turned me away from any ‘over the top’ behaviour. As if OTT would be the death sentence of being taken seriously…
Liberty from all the lies
There is the strange thing about the lies we accept. When we are confronted with the truth. Even when we accept that the lie is false, we still in the subconscious auto responses want to trust the lie.
Who are we to think we can be great?
I do this about extravert behaviour. Stopped dancing whilst admiring those who do. Held back on teasing and flirting whilst enjoying the fun and games of others. Blocked wanting to stand out in case I was great – and really who are we to think we can be great? Lies, deceptions, falsehoods – things we have empowered to hold us back. To enslave us. To limit us. Things we need to be liberated from.
Liberty from all the blame
It is also easy to fall into the blame game. The controlling parents. The peer pressure. The abusive spouse. The untrustworthy boss. The corrupt business practices. The unjust systems. The discriminatory political orders. Of course these are serious and legitimate issues of liberty and justice. They can and must be challenged and changed.
However, all the systems in the world could be changed but if we have not looked inside we will still behave like victims. We will still be in bondage. If we have not dealt with our buttons that are so easily pushed, we will always be in bondage to those who can push them. That is no freedom at all.
Liberty is an inside job
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
― Viktor E. Frankl
“Be the change you want to see in the world.”
“My Life is My Message”
— Mahatma Ghandi
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”
— Nelson Mandela
True freedom – living life to the full
So true liberty is first and foremost in the mind. The mindsets. The beliefs. Freedom is a change of heart, a fresh perspective, a re-scripting, a breaking of rules, a release of desires, an undoing of cautiousness, a finding identity, an embracing of self, an engagement with life. Life to the full. Abundance. Joy filled being. Freedom to be, to laugh. Liberty for life and love. Liberty. Life. Love. Laughter. Free indeed.
For a bit more on the subject, here is another post I wrote about Liberty: http://www.totally-ian.com/going-fishing-time-freedom/