Freedom is such a bittersweet word. Perhaps not so much the word, but the meaning itself. To feel a sense of freedom is a blessing, but to desire freedom is nothing short of a burden; an unsatisfying and uncomfortable tug that diminishes your current state of mind. It’s all in the context of which we use the word. But what exactly is freedom? How do you define such a word? To one person, freedom could mean a break from the literal prison bars they are stuck behind. To others it may be the act of dismantling a controlled force – debt, unhealthy relationships, boredom. Or, freedom could mean just a simple night out with friends.
Although I’m certain I’m not the only one that feels this way, I can’t help but feel intrigued by the idea of freedom. Like many, it may be a goal of some sort, the “finish line” if you will. However, what I’m starting to notice is that it is entirely a state of mind. While I could feel trapped in my every day life, someone else looking in could think I’m as free as a bird. It’s completely situational, I know. Growing up, I used to lay on the grass and stare up at the bright blue sky, watching the clouds roll by. I could do this for hours and get lost in my own thoughts. It’s as if my internal thoughts and subconscious would take over and I could dream the day away while still be physically awake. Certain ideas and images that I would play in my mind would give me that sense of freedom.
Ideas such as getting on an airplane and going anywhere without the slightest care of any sort; not a single worry. An image of a bird flying in the sky. But notice that I used the word “sense” of freedom. Those thoughts and images weren’t giving me actual freedom. They were giving me the illusion of freedom. Even when you look at it closely, being surrounded by numerous other passengers on a tightly packed plane, following rules and regulations, is that actually freeing? Is that bird in the sky actually freeing me? Perhaps it was the act of laying on the ground and staring at the clouds that again gave that sense of freedom. Is the thought of freedom really the actual freedom? Or perhaps actual freedom is the state of physically being in the moment,”now.”
My final thoughts on freedom are of this: Freedom is nothing more and nothing less of just an idea, a state of mind, a thought. Certain ideas can make you feel that sense of freedom but freedom is just an just ideology of its own. Being free is attempting to be 100% in the present moment. I try my best to keep in the moment and it certainly is something that takes practice. This idea is a super buddhist mentality that I’ve grown to love and appreciate the more I get older. Certain things such as staring up at the clouds, gorgeous vast landscapes, being in the middle of the woods, or traveling to a place that I’ve never been before are all things that give me the sense of freedom. The greatest “being free” moment I’ve ever experienced was when I was completely isolated on the edge of the Grand Canyon. Not a single sound and completely alone, except for a few flying birds and James screaming randomly in the distance. I knew I was free because I was aware of every single little thing. I was able to feel myself breathe, the sun on my face, every detail I laid my eyes on in that canyon was defined.
Everyone has their own ways of experiencing these feelings and that’s one of the many things that make us unique as humans. Sometimes, rather than searching for that sense of freedom, it’s important to remind ourselves to be free and to live in that exact moment. I apologize if I seem to be coming on a bit deep today, but I tend to get in deep thoughts like this from time to time. And well, that is after all why I started a blog in the first place right? I’d love to hear what you guys think, other opinions, input, etc.
What gives you a sense of freedom? And have you ever experienced being free?