Freedom… it flows out of our mouths so easily, yet there is a complexity to this word that could fill volumes of books and shelves.
Freedoms equate to consequences, both natural and of made by man. One is free to choose to stick their hand on a hot stove, but they are not free of suffering the natural consequence of being burned. We are free to make the choice to remove our clothes and walk down the street, but we are not free of the man-made laws that would cause us to be arrested. Laws made because one choice was felt it took away the freedom of another.
Are we free when it comes to love? Love… another complex word which falls out of our mouths easily. Combine the two….
FREEDOM TO LOVE
History has shown the freedom to love has been ruled by law, religion, and society standards. Historical records show women were often married, not due to love but for the betterment of the family or nation. They were part of the negotiating process. Upper class gentlemen were expected to marry women of the cultural and rank in society. Laws were enacted to make it illegal for cross race or same gender marriages to take place. Until societies standards adjusted to have these laws deemed unfit for the population to follow, they remained in tact. Those in power created the laws to govern society in the manner that provided them the most freedom of how they would like the world around them to be.
Yet even in freedom to love, there is choice. One does not see an individual an immediately fall in love. Time is required to build the relationship to where love can grow. One may be attracted to another, but that attraction doesn't equate to love on the onset of the relationship. There is a heart and mind connection that occurs. The mind determines that this individual is one in which an enjoyable companionship can occur. When the mind has stepped onto this path, it begins to envision acts within the relationship which then creates an emotional response. When the mind and emotions are engage, the body takes action.
Think It • Feel It • Act It
One can then argue that falling in love is a choice, made when one decides to take action to pursue determining if this individual is someone that is enjoyable to be around. Flipping this, one can argue that falling out of love is a choice. When one no longer pursues the time to be with an individual and to create enjoyable moments together, the emotional response one felt towards another diminishes. When the mind begins to engage in thought of action with another, the emotion of love diminishes with one and increases with the individual that is mind. The cycle of falling in and out of love is a choice on how one wants to engage in their thought and time.
The Love of Freedom
The love of freedom is ruled by personal interpretation on what freedom should mean and laws are then made to dictate that personal interpretation, forcing others to follow, regardless of whether they agree. Those in power dictate the definition of freedom. Those without power, have the choice to abide or to suffer the consequence. When those without power, become larger and make their voice vocal, those in power continue to create their own society rules to benefit them and those with similar thoughts and beliefs.
The pendulum of power swings back and forth when opposing opinions and beliefs can not find common ground. When the need to be right and prove another is wrong, overshadows the need for a peaceful society. It is a self-serving mentality using power to extract or gift freedom... as long as it doesn't interfere with the freedom of the group in power.
FREEDOM OF CHOICE
In the end… our only freedom is in our ability to choose what we allow to entertain in our mind. Thoughts may arise, but it is our choice to dwell on them. Our only freedom is in our willingness to learn to understand our emotional response to what life brings our way. To understand oneself, is dictated only by the choice one makes to take the time with oneself to understand the simple question of, “Why?” “Why did this statement, event, or individual cause me to feel _______?”
To be free… we must first learn to understand… it must begin within. We must be willing to go on our own Wayfinding journey to discover ourselves. Once we find ourselves, our choices expand. Success becomes a choice, when we take daily actions towards what we desire. Freedom becomes a choice, when we determine what freedoms we desire to have and then take action to living in a society with compatible thoughts on what freedom means.
We will always have choice. What we won't always have... is to be free from the natural or man made consequences which are tied to the choices we make.
Choose wisely and be free.
| Photo by Ben Eaton on Unsplash