The term libre detre - 'free to be' comes to mind.
I hadn’t really thought of what the term meant till it became obvious to me that my perception in life or awareness as some describe it had arrived at a point where I knew I was restricted, lacking freedom in many ways.
Early in life I thought the concept of freedom meant that we need to abide by every know societal rule and act out of legal constraint, dare to test what constitutes societal moral mores and even give the odd ethic a bashing now and then. That recalcitrance I soon learned is only the energy that manifests itself as we draw down on experiences that contradict, openly violate or more specifically target the well being of another person.
If freedom is a state of mind then mine was a prisoner trapped perpetually in solitary confinement. My repeat pattern of interaction with others has for 45 years been the same, repeated.
Until recently I wasn’t even aware that freedom was in the mind, not bought over a counter and consumed with five others in quick succession. I thought for a long time that getting married and having children as well as having a good job, a bunch of mates who drank well and a yearly holiday was the answer to it all - freedom within constraint.....a certain freedom.
I recall dunking my doughnut in a putrid cup of coffee one morning and belching up a beer burp from the night before…along with the pizza. Thinking back on that morning I also recall the abject horror of realising that I’d left my iPad open with pornography that was sure to raise more than one eyebrow, open and live in the spare room of the house I’d come to call ‘house’.
So that sense of freedom had previously been one where I’d known that I had a choice in what I did on a daily basis and even better, when in secret I had more choices because the secrets allowed for diversity and depth that was otherwise not possible in the open.
As far back as I can recall I was a secret smoker, drinker, fornicator, consumate liar, thief and more importantly was in my mind made prison cell whacking off like a crazed baboon to the images of lustful carnage and hypothetical malcontent. A constant state of the fantastical, the bondage of adrenalin, the discipline of the predictable, plausible.
Free as in freedom for much of my emotional self is as foreign as sticking a needle into your neck and pumping a quart of vegemite in for the sake of making a cheese and vegemite sandwich. It sits as the greatest and most exhilarating of achievements that I could possibly hope to attain in all of the walks of my life….especially in my interactions with other humans. That sense of freedom is probably the most important sense that technology takes us away from, that society encourages us to suppress and that from mind made prison constitutes the building blocks of fear and loathing.
Freedom is mind made. No one but myself I learned had the power to provide more freedom that what I allowed myself to have.
We have choice but we must know that we do have choice first...to know what it is in constitution. Even the most suppressed of all those who have been marginalised, rejected or even abandoned have a way forward should they seek to address and observe that one concept alone.
I have learned that freedom is not what we give others but rather what we give ourselves, first. In giving ourselves freedom we are able to give others as boundless as the universe is wide. An example of this is with our significant others, those we connect with most closely.
The freedom we give them is in not "having" them in the first place….letting them be themselves, always. Without expectation I have come to understand is the greatest gift we give ourselves as let them go and be themselves and celebrate in what they are for themselves first. We do not possess anyone anymore than they possess us…and in that awareness comes our greatest energy spend.
In remaining not owned, not expected to do things, not constantly answerable, not anything other than who we are. That freedom to be for yourself allows others to be free too…as soon as you switch it back to expecting things of them, restricting them in anyway you have long lost something you never had in the first place. It is true of every other aspect of your life.
"Subject to change” or “closed for renovations”….take your pick.
This sense of freedom is something we need to constantly revisit and check in on ourselves…give ourselves room to rest between changes and to be quiet in that space with our even more busyness….even a yoga retreat is busyness and with it a range of experiences and energies that would otherwise be lost to a self fulfilling agoraphobia.
At the risk of sounding spiritual, imagine for a moment that you had the power to consciously let go of your partner and all that they do in entirety…and in doing so letting yourself be as free as in the freedom you afforded them…vice versa, then each and every heated and emotional conversation focussing on one thing and one only.
Are you ok? (mirror)
Where are you landing? (examine all emotions and just be aware of them)
Why worry? (causal agencies at hand)
Where to next? (busyness vs in-the-now)
Can you cope? (emotional, physical…)
Free to be yourself.
Let yourself be that freedom.