Freedom must be one of the most commonly used words in American English. It’s a constant in the rhetoric of politicians, educators, religious leaders, and—oh, yeah—of marketing professionals. And it means something different to every one of them, often to the same person at different times. Most seem to equate it with what they see as their individual right to do whatever-it-is that they wish to do, and give the word specially loud emphasis when what they wish to do is contrary to others’ rights, real or perceived, or to the law. In some ways, I tend to think of Freedom as a much smaller thing with a much larger personal impact: freedom from my own limitations.

That’s the freedom I seek, and I suppose, the freedom that only I can grant myself, but am persistently too fearful to dare. Afraid to consider, let alone accept. Amazing, when I reflect on it, that I’ve gotten to this ripe old age, let alone had such a full, joyful life, without being quite able to let go of my inborn fragility of spirit. But there it is. I limit myself to solo singing in an empty house, to dancing behind closed doors. It doesn’t really matter that nobody else would pay that much attention if I did this stuff right along with everyone else; it’s that I feel self-conscious and awkward and don’t like my self-image as singer or dancer or anything so near to being extroverted.

Does this make me unhappy? No. It’s more mysterious than upsetting…I love to hear good singers sing, watch uninhibited dancing. I admire people who are extroverted enough to do whatever they jolly well please without regard to how silly it might make them feel. I like to think I don’t care how silly it makes me feel. But I’m holding on to a modicum of insecurity about not wanting to make other people feel a teensy bit uncomfortable with my gross incompetence. Silly me. Really.

Go on, keep dancing, you over there! It makes me happy. No strings attached.Digital illo: Dance On

7 thoughts on “Freedom

  1. Love this post…and yes personal freedom comes from removing fear….For the first forty years of my life, I was trapped with anxiety and fear, and once that was relaxed….I was able to begin the journey of real personal discovery….Dance and sing…enjoy the day. Janet. xx

    • I suspect that you might have had something like my own experience in that regard—that when the recovery from anxiety began in earnest (and in my case, in combination with recovery from depression), I realized that not only were many of the feelings and worries I thought inevitable not universal, but as I shed them I recognized my true self had been *masked* by, not *made* by, them. Good for us to become our own, hummingbird-blessed, beings!
      Much love!

      • Thank you for these wonderful words to begin my day and weekend. Yes, it is so often the case that once the anxieties and fears are removed….we can then recognise our true selves…. Enjoy a peaceful, creative and loving weekend…Janet. xxx

    • Subjective and changeable. Both individually and corporately. I just feel freer than I imagine some others are, for the mere reason that I’m allowed to understand that!

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