Finding Freedom

Freedom is an idea that poets yearn for; that soldiers fight for.

Yet, for most of us, it is an illusion that is only found at the end of the rainbow. Too many of us are haunted by our pasts, held in check by our family systems and inherited beliefs. Addictions chain us, and shame and self-centeredness enslave us here in America.

There is an insurmountable gap between what we want to be true and what is true. We hold onto secrets and avoid pain and conflict. We become who we are expected to be rather than who we dream of being. We become slaves to our consumeristic society and work jobs we hate to pay for things we don’t really want but somehow think we need. Though we claim to be free, in reality, we are in chains.

Hollywood has made a fortune off this innate desire for freedom. Just about every Mel Gibson movie has freedom and the fight for freedom at its core. Other movie franchises such as the Matrix and the Dead Poets Society call people to a deeper sense of freedom. Freedom isn’t merely masculine. Look at Julia Roberts catalogue. How many of her movies tell stories of freedom? Even TV shows such as the Americans or Blind Spot wrestle with themes of freedom on a more abstract level. We continually search for freedom but never seem to find it.

Though she doesn’t underline and highlights the word “freedom” as she does such words as “bravery, courage” and “vulnerability;” Brene Brown’s work is a call to freedom — free to be who we really are rather than who we think we should be. That is why it hits such a chord with so many. We want to be free, and we don’t know how to get there, much less live there once we arrive. Freedom beckons us, but it also scares us.  Freedom adds to responsibility and increases our risk. What if we find it and fail? What if I go there are it isn’t what I am looking for? I am not sure I can handle that disappointment.Are you ready to take the step to find freedom?

What would it be like to not have to carry the weight of, “I should _________?” What would it be like to not carry the weight of shame; of, “I”ll never be enough!” or “No one will be able to handle me!”

Expanding a thought from John Bowlby the father of attachment theory:

My job is to help people think thoughts they’ve never been free to think; to feel feelings they’ve never given themselves permission to feel; to do things that they’ve never felt free to do, and to be people they’ve always been scared to be.

Stephen Grant