As I see it, there will always be a reason. There will always be an excuse. And excuses make sense, which is why we use them.
What are the common ones?
Too tired? Too frustrated? Don’t have enough time? Don’t have the energy? Don’t have the patience it takes? Don’t have enough money? Don’t have enough help?
Is it that you don’t have the words to define what you need? Is that you lack the language to describe the worries you feel? Maybe you don’t have the drive it takes to continue because once we pass the threshold of ability; this means we are capable, which means we owe it to ourselves, which means we have to be responsible now. This means we are responsible for the output. This means we are accountable for our actions, which means we have to take action on a daily basis.
But inherently, there is an immature laziness that does not want to be held accountable for anything. It’s like having a child inside, always tugging on our pant leg, always looking for recognition, always looking to be comforted, always looking to be validated, and never wanting to be cold or hungry, alone or uncomfortable.
We all have the inherent fear of loss. And by loss, I do not mean losing a game; I mean real loss. I mean losing people. I mean losing the feeling of happiness or comfort, which can be fleeting at times.
When I say loss, I mean losing the feeling of newness; I mean losing the feeling of excitement and fearing that all will go back to ordinary (or mundane.)
What if I dream and I try? What if I try and find out I can’t do it? What if I find myself publicly humiliated? These are actual fears.
There is a fear of success and of happiness but the fear of this is not fear of accomplishment. The fear is not being successful. The fear is not feeling good. The fear is what if we gain what we want and then the feeling goes away?
What if we find happiness and lose it?
Fears like this are the fears that keep people stuck in their ways. This is why people remain personally imprisoned. This is why people stay locked within themselves.
At least here, the rules are clear. At least this way, we understand the rules of engagement. We understand the lows. We know which way things come. We might not experience surprises, but nothing is really unexpected. We become the caged bird dependent upon the bars to keep us safe. And no, our wings never spread but we never crash either.
Most people live in two worlds. One world is their perfect world, which is the world most desired. This is the life we dreamed of. This is us at our best. This world is complete with success and achievement. This is the place where dreams come true.
The job is right, family is good; the home is in great shape, bills are paid, commitments fulfilled, and the horizon is a beautiful panoramic view of everything we’ve ever hoped for.
To most, this is where our freedom lives.
The other world is a forced life. The other world is day to day functions. This is where disappointment is. Maybe this is a job we work but wished for better. Maybe this is a life we live with people that we not chosen properly.
This is where rejection comes from. This is where we lose our investments. This is where discouragement lives and where excuses are born.
This is where we find imprisonment and where we stay trapped in the repetition of daily things we wish we could get away from. But yet, we’re afraid to try because, “What if,” and then somehow, we find ourselves back in the personal, internal dungeon?
Both worlds are very real. However, one is more desirable than the other. One of these worlds seems impossible and the other one feels probable and most likely. Between the two worlds is a line I call the purgatory of self. This is the border between personal redemption and internal hell.
No one wants to feel trapped. No one wants the dead-end job or the feeling of pointlessness. No one wants to feel like they are living the wrong life with the wrong people.
We all want the feeling of satisfaction. We all want to achieve, but yet, we sometimes feel trapped. We want better but yet we always come up with excuses to explain why our life never reached its potential.
The word freedom is defined as the state of being free; to feel free instead of living in a state of confinement.
To be free means to be free from external control, to not be hinged upon someone or anyone else. To be free is to be liberated, to be free from outside regulation (or opinion) and to be exempt from the imposition of people, places, and things.
As I see it, freedom is an action. Freedom is a feeling. It is a responsibility. Freedom is internal more than external. To me, freedom is a heightened sense of awareness. This means a heightened level of physical, social, and spiritual consciousness, which leads the ultimate enlightenment of true and internal understanding.
To understand is to be free. To understand means that no matter what is said or what happens, because of our true understanding of self, we know who we are; therefore, anything external is unimportant
Therefore, we are unhinged from people, places, or things. We are self-sufficient. We are confident because we know and understand ourselves. Things like failed attempts, mistakes, or words from people looking to impose or intrude are no threat whatsoever. We are whole. More importantly, we are unbreakable.
This is freedom. However, there is a popular saying about freedom, which goes. “Freedom isn’t free.”
I agree with this.
I believe freedom is innate but it takes work to keep it. I believe that our ability is innate. Our emotion is innate.
Yet somehow, we offer this away and allow ourselves to choose confinement rather than freedom because the fears we have to to feel foolish, to be humiliated, and to lose that thing we call hope.
But keep in mind; hope is a living breathing thing. Nothing can survive in a vacuum. Hope included.
Freedom has no boundaries. It can nether be contained or restricted. Freedom is what we define it as because we are free to do so, that is, if we choose to do so.
In my favorite interview with one of the last few surviving inmates at Alcatraz, he spoke about his time in “The Hole.”
The room was called The Hole because there was literally a hole in the floor, which is where the inmates relieved themselves.
There was no water. There was no light. There was nothing but a dirty floor, roaches, mice, or maybe rats.
There was the ungodly smell of uncleaned body and bathroom function, which was all confined in a tiny stagnant room.
This was The Hole, darker than imaginable and more dungeon-like than anything most could comprehend.
In an interview, the inmate described what he would do as soon as the guards placed him in solitary.
The inmate immediately sunk to his knees. He tore of one of his shirt buttons. Then the inmate placed the button on his thumb. He would do this similar to the way we place a coin on our thumbnail before tossing it in the air to choose heads or tails.
In the cold or damp, disgusting darkness, the inmate would flip the button high in the air and over his shoulder. Then the inmate would proceed to scour the floor, filthy as ever, and look for the button as a way to occupy his time. In his darkest moment; this man chose to create his own source of light.
I am paraphrasing here, but more or less, the inmate explained, “They took my light. They took my space. They tried to take my freedom but I would not let them take my mind.”
He said, “So long as I kept my mind I knew that could not keep me.”
In the smallest, filthiest room, confined and literally imprisoned, this man created his own freedom.
It all comes
down to one simple question:
What are you willing to do to have the life you want to live?
What are you willing to do to create your own freedom?
Figuratively speaking, I will do like the inmate did. I will occupy my mind. I will not allow myself to feel imprisoned.
I will create my own source of light, and if all else fails, I will find my button (so to speak) because the day I give away my mind is the same day I give away me.