Yesterday was the Fourth of July – our Independence Day in the United States. I even went to see the fireworks display in NYC, where I live (see above).
Here in the US we talk a lot about freedom, pride ourselves on being “free” and get very riled up when we feel our freedom is being threatened.
But are we free?
I could be asking that question on many levels, but today I’m thinking about the kind of freedom that means the most to me – internal freedom. I believe that is the fundamental freedom.
I don’t know about you, but I am very aware of the ways that I am NOT free. Even to get triggered when I feel my freedom is threatened is a sign of not being free. For whatever triggers me controls me, and I then react in habitual ways that have been conditioned in me over time. Where do my feelings, ideas, and reactions come from, anyway? Do I freely choose them?
I’ll give you an example:
One thing about me is that I don’t like being told what to do. I have a feeling of my freedom being infringed when that happens. (Perhaps you can relate?) I can feel indignant and convince myself that I am a “free spirt” who needs to “follow my intuition” and “be in the flow” and should not have to follow rigid rules.
And some of that may be true – in an ideal world. In fact, I have created a life that supports that ideal, to a large degree. That’s part of why I became an entrepreneur.
Who is rebelling? I would say it is my inner teenager, conditioned by a lifetime growing up with a controlling mother – simple as that. I am in fact still being controlled by those patterns laid down in my childhood.
And if I have no choice about how I react when I am triggered – then I am definitely NOT free. I am more like a puppet at the end of a string being jerked around when something pulls that string.
So where are YOU not free? What patterns, habitual ways of reacting, feeling, believing have been conditioned in you over time that you may take to be your truth – even a sign of your freedom?