The concept of "freedom" is actually a tricky one. One tends to think of freedom FROM something, which makes the word itself contractive. We all dream of being free of one thing or another, whether it be "pain-free", or "drug-free" or "debt-free". The trouble with that is that rather than focusing on what it might be like to be "free" of those things, we are more likely focusing rather on evidence and effects of the pain, the drugs, or the debt, creating more of the same in our lives.
I have noticed, for instance, that some of the loudest proponents of freedom of rights, of ecological issues, of government abuse, etc., put negative emotion on those undesirable conditions, and lend their strength to promoting more of the same. It is the emotion that drives away (fear) or attracts (love) experience of a concept. Many activists are passionate in their desire to make the world a better place. . . .I wonder how effective they can be by focusing anger, fear, or hatred on the unfavorable conditions?
With that caveat, I would like to address the idea of freedom from core issues, beliefs, misperceptions, old habits, or self-defeating behaviors which rule our lives, affect our health, and keep us doing the same non-productive things over and over and over and over again.
It is true that in order to move AWAY from anything, you must first be at, or in that thing. Physical pain, for instance, is an excellent roadmap to the core of any issue. Fears, anxieties, or even phobias that direct our actions can be addressed only as we go into them. These nagging little reminders are very much like two-year-olds.
As a new mother, I learned that you have two choices when it comes to dealing with a two-year-old. You can be standing at the kitchen sink, blissfully doing your dishes and chatting on the phone, when you feel that little tug at the back of your leg. You can either drop what you’re doing, drop to your knees, and address his need immediately, or you can ignore him. Addressing his need immediately will take about 30 seconds, and he’ll toddle happily away.
I learned the hard way that ignoring him is a recipe for disaster. He will tug at your knee long past the time he remembers what he wanted in the first place. He will move from a simple request for prying his Legos apart to a full-blown temper tantrum, where neither one of you can discern his needs, because he has forgotten. He has long since thrown the Legos across the room; he only knows you’re ignoring him.
Our inner children are much the same way. Karol Truman says it all in the title of her book -- Feelings Buried Alive Never Die…! Those feelings will hang on tenaciously to our throat, or our head, or our liver, or our knees and other joints until we hear, honor, and resolve them.
The process of hearing, honoring, and resolving those feelings does not have to be a long and arduous one. It can be, of course, depending upon how many layers of denial they are tamped under, but it need not take years. Once the feelings have been identified, acknowledged, and reframed, they can be released from the very cells they have occupied and regenerated within, never to return again. When those misperceptions, misdirected noble intents, and unreasonable expectations have been released, they leave access to the pristeen wholeness that resides at the core of every one of us.
THAT is where we need to focus our attention, in order to draw wholeness, integration, and joyful wonder to our conscious awareness. It’s always there. We are each and all inherently whole, full of integrity, joy and wonder, by the very nature of our spiritual origin. We just ARE.
To know freedom from all that has obscured our inherent wholeness is to move into and experience our perfection. Lately, I find myself living so much in the moment, reveling in the perfection of every moment, that it is sometimes hard to remember what I did the day before, or what I have to do tomorrow. It makes the use of a day timer really crucial, but when I miss anything, I simply know it wasn’t meant to be, and move on. What I’m not missing is the joy at the core of every moment. Knowing that I’m always on purpose, headed in the right direction, and full of wonder. Anyone who ever asks me knows, "I’m wonderful!" Whether you believe it, notice it, or enjoy it or not, so are you..