What is it that we need to be happy with our lives? There are quite few things that many are looking for such as happiness, peace and love. But, what will make us truly happy? Some have love and are searching for peace, while others may feel peace but are looking for love. Then there are those you seek freedom which is in a class all by itself. To be “ free ” some think it is not be in a relationship. While there are those who the idea that freedom is a state of open mindedness. The whole relentless search of what generates what we think will make us happy eventually becomes the driving purpose of our life. How does someone find happiness, if they are constantly searching for what makes them happy? It reminds you of either what came first the chicken or the egg or equivalent to watching a cat chase its tail. It would seem that once one thing we think will make us happy is attained we only discover that we must have something different, something more or less. It is the cat and mouse game of life in pursuit of these ideas that are going to make us “happy”.
In actuality, what we are all looking for in life is just “the lack of trouble” as much as possibly can be acquired or not acquired as the case may be. The avoidance of pain, stress, sorrow and illness these are just a few of those things that we are all looking to avoid at all costs, if possible. So is the “lack of, or avoidance of “trouble” in actuality peace and happiness? The whole idea of this relentless chase can become a balancing act that consumes our focus like attempting to walk a tight rope balancing a ball on the end of our nose at the same time.
When I talk to others or listen to conversations through my bad habit of eaves dropping, I hear many things about what would make their lives better “if only” and “why not’s”? But in truth, the idea is “I want to be free”. What do think or feel makes you “free”? Is it the lack of trouble, sorrow, stress and pain in our lives? The perplexity of what we think we want and what we really need to achieve to obtain “happiness” or “freedom” appears to be the elusive mystery of the ages. Many times in our lives we will experience moments or a period of time that we actually “feel” happy and then we wake up one day and it has disappeared. Then begins or descending journey from the mountain top of the ever elusive moments of “happy” and into the valley of our relentless chase again.
I wonder if the whole idea of “happiness” is what makes us unhappy? Is it the same as saying to an apple, you will be happy once you have become an orange? Always wanting what we think we need to be happy only to find if or when we achieve “it” that “it” isn’t what we thought “it” was? The unending perplexity and the confusion that this state of being creates such disharmony in our minds that we find ourselves depressed just over the whole idea of “happiness”. How ironic and savage these thoughts can become that they mentally kidnap us and imprison us into actually believing that we know what we must have.
Which brings me back to “freedom”, to be free from the elusive idea of obtaining happiness or the relenting chase that leads from one destination to another like an emotional nomad seeking those “moments” of bliss? What I hear under all the “If only, why not’s? and I wish”, is I want to be FREE! Free from the whole chase, the game and this balancing act on the tight rope.
Freedom is a perplexing thought and when we actually take time to think about “freedom” we could make a list of “things” we think will make us free. But in actuality, freedom is far from what we think it is and maybe that is why so many of us never find it. We are taught that freedom is to live our lives without the restraining obligations of certain things. But, when you look into that crystal ball, some of those restraining obligations are what you think we need to be happy. So we find ourselves climbing deeper into the rabbit hole in search of happiness.
What is freedom? What if we let go of our ideas and rooted beliefs of what the definition of freedom that has been taught to us by others philosophies. What would freedom look like then? What would it feel like? We have been taught since childhood that we are should always moving toward some destination or goal. It’s time to get up, it’s time to eat and it’s time to go to bed. It is always “time” to do something and once we do that particular “thing” then it is time to do another. This is how our minds work on a constant basis; we will even stay awake at night not being able to sleep because we are “thinking” about what we need to do when it’s not even “time” to do it. Making a long list of “to do’s” in our heads making sure every “i” is dotted and every “t” is crossed.
Freedom is not a destination. Freedom doesn’t have a place to be at any given time in fact, freedom doesn’t own a watch. Freedom doesn’t have an origin, or a place it has come from or a destination, any particular place it is going to. Freedom is not obtained like a trophy that one puts on a shelf or money that is deposited into one’s bank account. I have seen homeless people who have more freedom than those who have massive bank accounts. Money can be a great tool but, a terrible taskmaster. In fact, most of the time money brings more obligations which only imprison us and take us further away from freedom. That is certainly not the way to discover freedom by obtaining more obligations. Freedom can be wealthy or common it doesn’t really care what kind of car it drives or clothes it wears. There are those that experience “life” in a state of feeling “lost” and don’t even realize that misguided feeling could actually be freedom in disguise. We search for destinations and we thrive on obligations they appear to feed or inward ego and deep sense of feeling that we “belong”. So feeling lost could be just the feeling that we don’t have a destination, any heavy obligations or belonging to any particular thing or person. But wait a minute! Is that what freedom IS, makes one wonder!…. Alas! Another riddle ….. Another rabbit hole and an illusion or disillusion of the mind once again. Is freedom just the simple idea of having “no debt”? To not owe anything to anyone? Will that make us “free”? Well, having “no debt” might very free us from certain obligations but, it will not release from the responsibility of “things”.
So after all that…. We get to add into the mix “responsibility”! So is freedom the ability to not have any obligations or responsibilities to anyone or anything? That could actually be what many experience as “loneliness and lost”. I hope by now after reading this you are starting to get the idea that this is a wild goose chase and is going nowhere at all. (lmaorotf)!
Freedom…………….. to be free! Free is an unusual state of being of the mind and heart. In many ways it has the characteristics of “ looking” lost but, is far from it. We can always tell when we are in the presence of someone who is “free” because there is an air of timelessness about their words and their movements of their body are soft and graceful. When we converse with them we sense that they are “old souls” yet, they are a breath of fresh air on every level. They attract those who are longing for freedom and repel those who seek deep obligation. There is a wisdom that gleams from their eyes and their presence can be compared to an invisible light of energy that permeates around them. This charisma that surrounds these free souls can be felt, seen and heard even after they have left the room. If fact, when they walk into a room they may not attract any attention whatsoever but, when they leave the room it is quite evident that something has changed. To be free is to not “want or “ need ” but, to accept and surrender. To give and not to take is the morality of freedom and those who experience it understand and have to come to the realization that everything is and happens for a reason. What a probable solution to the elusive confusion we experience in our lives and emancipation of all our complaints.
I have come to the place in my life where I realize that this uncomfortable feeling that I get when I don’t feel in control or I may feel helpless is actually “ me” trying to find more obligation. It appears that many of us have been so ingrained with the idea that if we have control on some level that we can be free from “ something ” or “ someone”. We want to “ want ” things or people or think we need to “ need” things or people to make us happy, secure or create our sense of belonging. These destinations of the mind that we have accumulated are very hard to give up. It is so apart of our being that to give up the strong desire of destination, just the actual thought can create fear and loss in one’s mind. We want to “ belong” but at the same time we want to be “free”. What an ironic dichotomy of thinking!
This sense of “ belonging” is something we begin to learn from the day we are born and evolves into a child that grabs his toy from their sibling and yells “MINE”! To belong is to have “MINE” – a state of inner ownership and the show of outward belongings. They say he who dies with the most toys win, what a perfect way to describe “MINE”, but they don’t say he who dies with the most toys is the most happy or the one who wins will be free. The ridiculous idea that anything we think we own here in this life is actually ours is the greatest delusion at its finest. We came here naked and we leave here naked – just for the record! What we may think is “ ours ” is only what we may borrow for a period of time even if we “own” it. Ahhhh! Now there is a freedom idea…. Borrowing? Well that just goes against all the rules of what we are taught that will makes us happy and free. We must “own”, we must “have” if we want to be free from debt. Life is a debt collector and at the moment we take our last breath it will come and collect all that you thought you “owned”.
One would get the feeling that we are born, raised and taught how to be prisoners to just about everything. A prisoner to people, things, money and time and the list grows on and on. Then half way through this thing we call “life” some of us actually open our eyes from the hypnotic state of materialistic sleep and gain the realization that everything acquired must be unshackled from them if they want to be free. What a beautiful thought we are born free and to actually die free. Now there is a whole new idea to a purposeful life.
Being free is not connected to having “things” nor is it apart of the illusion to our deception that “things” have us. What a concept to come to the awakening that we can enjoy everything, as long as we enjoy it without entitlement. To live our lives understanding that everything has a purpose and that our inward drives for destination doesn’t shackle our minds. To accept and live constantly in the attitude of acceptance and to surrender to life’s moments whether they may be good, bad or indifferent. To have faith in “freedom” and believe that it actually exists and can be experienced, if we are willing. The road to freedom is not paved with all those rooted beliefs that were taught to us from those who were taught by others that if we follow these golden rules we will become successful and free. The road to true freedom is not paved with gold it is paved with peace, love and forgiveness. I have read myriads of books and have heard many ideas of how you can find “happiness” but, actually you can’t find HAPPINESS…. Happiness is something that happens to you when you are free. Are you ready to be free? Or maybe the question we must truly ask ourselves is, are we “willing” to be free?
Are we willing to unshackle our minds and “let go” of those ideas of what we though freedom was The road to freedom is not paved with gold, but with stones of inward discovery? It is not an easy task, or an easy road…. If it was then there would not be so many unhappy people imprisoned to the chains of desire that keep them chasing everyday what they cannot keep. It is equivalent to holding water in ones hand. Free your mind from all those things that you believe you must have to be free! So many of them feel so good and provide many mental and physical comforts. But, that is the shallow end of the pool when it comes to what we are looking for. Being free actually removes the pain of so many disappointments and expectations from ourselves and others. So I pose the question again…. Are you ready? If you ask to be emancipated from your imprisoned thinking of what you are now and what you must have to be free, what will happen? Who will you become? Maybe you have reached a crossroads in your journey and it is time to contemplate which direction to take…. The road to freedom will not be lined with money trees and lined with walls of wealth. I am not saying you will not receive these things , WHAT I AM saying is that your focus will change because you are awakened to the truth that happiness and freedom are the same. So I ask again… ARE YOU READY?
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