Today I heard these sweet gospel words with different ears than I had before. I’ve long understood that freedom is the ultimate driving word, concept, objective among humanity. Not just in our enlightened democracy of states united — where history books are full of the drama we create in its pursuit. But it is clear that all of human life across the globe focuses on and fearfully holds tight to feeling free.
But now I’ve been wondering at this question about both the individual and the global population … how is that whole freedom thing working out? How often does one person’s freedom come at the expense of another’s? (A lot.) And do people in “free” countries actually enjoy and make use of personal freedom to the extent they could? (Not really.)
Human enterprise, religion, government, and war have swirled for millennia around the holding tight to and not much around the actual feeling of freedom. I’ve seen in my own painful experiences and those of the planet that, just like with love, we’ve been looking for freedom in all the wrong places.
Not coincidentally, the two are inextricably bound together, that Love and that Freedom.
Until we connect to the unconditionality of real love, we can’t connect to our true freedom. We must know viscerally that we are worthy and made of love from within. Unreliant on any other source outside of us. Not our parents, our government, our popular culture, our romantic partners, our pets, our church leaders, our social media feeds, our bank accounts. If we aren’t closely acquainted with the beautiful core and soul of who we are apart from any of those things, freedom is unattainable.
In fact I’d say inner validity as a human being is a prerequisite for authentic freedom. As soon as it is felt and steadied within us —as love, joy, and excitement about our place in the universe — the impenetrable sensation of freedom is a natural consequence. The kind a sparrow feels in flight. Or a lily in leaning toward the sun.
And then the options in our lives could actually be endless. How much of your daily effort, your fight, could you do away with if you really believed in your freedom? How much could protest change to advocacy, argument change to trust and ease?
And how would the whole world change as a natural consequence?