Freedom. It’s probably the word that resonates within me the most over this year, second only to fierce. Just saying the word, or hearing it, makes my eyes well up and my heart warm.. or ache.
I haven’t been able to get this word, or feeling, out of my heart ever since I went on the trip to Earth Dance over a year ago now. I felt a taste of ‘freedom of self’ during that experience and I’ve been chasing it ever since. I felt enough to know just how much I was lacking it, and how tremendously important it is to me. How crucial it is to address that yearning inside. How vital it is that I feel and experience that freedom in my life.
The more I give myself permission to choose freedom, the more I feel like I’m getting away with something. Like I’m cheating on “real life” or being irresponsible (whatever that really means). I’ve been curious about this lately. What’s so wrong with choosing freedom? Why is there this weird sense of selfishness associated with getting to feel free and go with the choices that feel like a weight is being lifted? What is that?
Guilt from a culturally implied personal responsibility to carry your share of weight and suffering? Making those who don’t follow the usual script look like rule breakers? Perhaps it’s yet another example of needing to shift our beliefs about worthiness and mattering. To embrace the belief that “I’m worthy of freedom”?
I’m not exactly sure what it is that makes feeling free equivalent to breaking the laws of physics and flying.. but I’ll tell you one thing – I’m not giving my wings back.
I’m starting to make peace with that guilt, or perhaps more accurately, pushing back in protest. When I think “I can’t just go with the choice that feels like freedom” there’s another voice snapping back “Well, why the fuck not??!”. Full disclosure.. I’m not particularly against breaking rules 😉
I have chosen freedom in a number of ways over the last year and I’m not even sure I have a word for the feeling I experience when letting the realities created by those choices sink in. I’m currently working on business and charity things that I deeply care about, while writing a blog post, in my comfy bed in the middle of a weekday with a coffee in hand. It’s something small, yet in another way it’s so unbelievably not small to me.
The answer to this question tells so much. I continue to go back to this question for guidance, and I often use it with coaching clients. It’s usually pretty easy to answer, you’ll feel it before you can say it. Taking your answer as feedback can be difficult, and for that reason, I also find myself avoiding this question. It’s just too damn telling sometimes.
Once you feel the answer, the hardest part is deciding if you are going to give yourself permission to choose freedom.