Finding Freedom

free·dom

ˈfrēdəm/

noun

noun: freedom

  1. the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.
  2. the power of self-determination attributed to the will; the quality of being independent of fate or necessity.

What is freedom? What does it look like, or even feel like? How can we harness it’s elements and truly experience freedom’s full potential? Is liberation a single event? Or is it a series of small moments that are equal to that amount? These are answers I find myself searching for more each day. In previous posts, I have spoken about wanting to live a fearless and meaningful life. Until recently, I thought that’s what I was doing. But I’ve come to realize that I haven’t lived by my own words: let your Faith be greater than your Fear. And I own that. That’s my truth. I needed someone else to help me see my own flawed thinking.

For so long, I have let past traumas and anxiety stop me from living my life in its entirety. I have been traveling through life Surviving. It’s all I have known for the majority of my life. Food, shelter, money, clothes, safety. These are the things I have spent my life focusing on. What kind of life is that? Waking up everyday, afraid of the world–afraid to let people close to my heart because of the damage others have caused? Surviving is existing–it is not living.

As I kid, I don’t remember being afraid of much besides being abandoned. In my adolescence, that changed. The Big Bang happened and I had more to lose, (what I thought to be) less to live for. I became crippled by PTSD and my anxiety has never completely subsided despite the fact that I emerged from the Flames a new Woman. And because of this, I’m scared to take chances. I’m terrified to allow others into my Space. I built these Walls to protect my true self from ever having to experience the Heartbreak I once endured. But is that fair? It isn’t. It isn’t fair to myself or to the people around me who genuinely care.

I’ve realized that you can’t find Happiness in your own expectations of how other people treat you or perceive you. It took me a long time to realize that as long as I am living my truth in the best way I know how, others’ actions should not affect me. This is true with my family and friendships. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I have so much to give and some people just simply aren’t ready for what it is that I have to offer. There’s Freedom in that knowledge. I don’t have to be held captive by my anger. It doesn’t exist anymore.

The root of my anxiety is the fear of not being in control. In my mind, being able to control every situation leaves less room for error. In other words, when I can’t control how things go, bad things happen. Whether that is true or not, that is how I have Survived. But the reality is that Surviving serves a purpose for only so long. There is no added danger in my life at this point. It has taken some time but I understand now that Freedom is taking a deep breath and saying ‘let’s go.’ Freedom is being at Peace with my Fears and owning them. But Liberation is being courageous enough to be afraid and keep going.

For me, Freedom and Liberation come in small doses. I feel the most Freedom when I am most afraid and most vulnerable. In the moments where I feel safe enough to share my soul with someone or when I find the courage to push through my own demons. I’ve discovered Happiness in these moments of Freedom. And there will be day when I can fully harness the Light inside my soul and truly shine. Until then, I’m living in the moment, smiling through my tears, and conquering my fears.

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