Thursday, May 19, 2016

The dizziness of freedom

Wayne Dyer said "Freedom means you are unobstructed in living your life as you choose. Anything less is a form of slavery."

We either have to work to support ourselves, we have families that require our attention, we live by rules made up by governments that tell us what to do and not to do, endless responsibilities, the list goes on. All these must be forms of slavery then. Will we ever be totally free?

I just returned from my "Let it Be" road trip to nowhere.  I had no plans and no destination, I just wanted to take the road and see where it leads me. I wanted to feel what it feels like to be free, to do what I want, when I want and not care about all the attention constantly required from me by friends and family. The only plans I made was to secure a safe place to sleep at night, because sleeping next to the road in South Africa is dangerous.  Already my freedom was challenged, but at least I was free to choose where I was going to stay. 

I always feel it is better to experience new places with someone. Traveling solo isn't really my preferred method of traveling, but can you really be free to do what you want when you have someone else's preferences to take into account? 

I traveled alone but made good use of the company I met along the road. I still was free to wave good-bye and move on to my next destination at any time I wished.

Despite my "freedom trip" reality never left me alone.  Financially I knew that a life like this cannot go on forever. I missed my family and knew I had to return eventually to my responsibilities. I still had to lock my doors when I left my car and stay inside the boundaries of the law, but for a week I did what I wanted to do, when I wanted and where I wanted... and if that is what freedom feels like then I can understand why everyone longs for freedom.  What I learned though was that a little bit of "slavery" wasn't such a bad thing after all.  It was nice to know that there is more to life than just floating around senselessly.  People that care is probably the most important one that jumps to mind. Having responsibility and meaning to others can be better than having total freedom.  Maybe we should never reach a state of total freedom, maybe we should just strive towards it and accept the slavery as a reminder of our worth to others on this planet.

Soren Kierkegaard said in his famous statement that "Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom".  Once we are totally free we start getting anxious because we don't know how to handle the freedom.  We might feel that we do not belong anywhere anymore, that we are not valued anymore. We might not have a future with plans and goals ahead of us and we will be like a rudderless ship on an open sea. We might even go mental if we are just free, because as human beings we have certain qualities that requires some sort of purpose in our lives and we cannot find that if we freed ourselves from any responsibilities towards ourselves, other human being, animals and even nature. 

I am back at my current life of slavery and I cannot say that I feel disappointed about it.  I am actually glad that some people missed me when I was away.  I am glad that I could resume some of my slave duties this morning.  What is a good to know is that I can do another "freedom trip" whenever I feel like it, just go with the flow and let it be. I actually have the freedom to do that. After this trip I feel revitalized in body and in spirit with new motivation to carry on because I know that the slavery I am subjected to in my life right now is not slavery after all, it is a choice that I made and where I feel comfortable in. Freedom is in any case something we should create for ourselves in our minds, just like happiness I guess. With a little compromise here and there we can all be free.

*For more of the images I took while on this trip, feel free to visit my Facebook Page

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