Many talented people experience this sensation of incarceration. And it is easy to find the culprits in your external circumstances and to blame some of the role players in your busy life. But the main offender is probably hiding on the inside; in a constricted approach to life, which denies you the sense of external freedom you long for.
Most people agree that true freedom does not await us in the abstention of responsibilities and an escape from the essential rules of life. We live in a real world.
Personal liberty is the creation of an experience within these rules and realities, and rests upon an array of inner commitments and attitudes. For anyone serious about her or his sense of freedom, the following few personal positions are really worth considering:
• I regard functional freedom as a precious gift. It is the most prized and coveted of all my blessings. Rightful liberty is a personal birth right that I am not prepared to surrender.
• I am committed to following my own path. I will be faithful to my own voice. I am willing to question the convention. I have a right to be unique and to be my own person. My heart will always travel with me.
• I value, respect and care for myself. I will not neglect myself. I refuse to judge myself through the eyes of others – or get carried away by my own imperfections. I will invest in myself – because I am the only asset I truly own.
• I won’t be rushed into decisions. I take time before I commit. I afford myself clarity and a clear understanding of risks. I back my decisions with appropriate homework.
• I live one life. I am not interested in the burden of pretention. I believe in the power of authentic living and the importance of a sound reputation. I will not be intimidated by the norm or convinced to mimic someone else’s life.
• I take responsibility to build my knowledge. Ignorance creates fear – and I refuse to live by fear. I understand the importance of being able to think for myself. I allow myself access to good information and choose to only engage in constructive conversations and truthful solutions.
• I regulate my expectations. I don’t burden myself by misguided expectations about the things I cannot control. My ambitions and standards are meaningful, but my expectations are based on realism. I subscribe to the dictum that strong trees regularly bow to the wind.
• I choose harmony above conflict. I believe in compromise and in a spirit of abundance. I will live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. My freedom will never be at someone else’s expense.
• I retain my rights to quit. Despite the negative connotations to ‘quitting’, I allow myself the right to walk away from people and situations that are harmful to my life. I avoid any space which is regulated by inappropriate power. I don’t believe in ‘sticking things out’ when it doesn’t make sense.
A healthy tree bears excellent fruit. The most unimpeded people are those who protect themselves from the bondage of a deficient personal approach to life – and the dependencies and misfortunes that tend to emerge from such an inner blueprint. Be kind to yourself.