The last few months…who am I kidding, the last 18 months, has got me assessing what freedom actually means, to me. I’ve not thought too much about freedom before as I realise the super privilege position I’ve been in. I’ve lived a life, be it not always within mental dynamics, that’s felt on the most part, free.
I could decided upon where to go and with who. Yes, I know we can get woven into relationships that once explored can have us questioning just how free we are around certain people, but without the intensity of that exploration, we can mainly choose our people.
So much has happened during this pandemic to send our nervous systems into a spin. Control has been taken away, we’ve been told how to behave and where to go and with who (or with no-one) and death, we’re exposed to figures and realisations, every day. I know you know this, we’re ALL in this. These experiences are not individual. This trauma has not just been affecting the separate self. It never has but we’ve liked to think it was. For centuries the notion of communicating our struggles and fears was kept ‘secret’. And as the world has begun to open up, due to whatever reason (social media, global connectivity etc) about just how complex and uniting our personal struggles are, we witness many of our anxieties and human responses to environmental stressors are indeed, shared. And now this global pandemic, this shared experience of restrictions and fear and doing things we’d have shook our head to a few years ago. Not only are we all in it, but we’re talking about it, globally, and maybe this is the most exposed we’ve ever been to collective trauma as information is instant now, from all corners of the world.
Within these restrictions and difficulties of feeling personal choices not being so personal anymore, something incredibly expansive has happened, personally (and probably to many others too).
My faith has strengthened, big style! My relationship with God is my favourite. My meditation practice has also lengthened (because there was literally fuck all else to do!) and I’m not sure I would have found out about my ADHD brain if I’d not had such an intense time of reflection. I live with my folks, and as a 39 year old living with both her parents, the struggle has been REAL. It’s also been super healing and I’m not sure I’ve ever felt so whole and surrendered as I do now.
I can’t even explain it as I’m under no illusion, I know shit is gonna get tougher . We’re not outta the woods, and maybe we never will be. Maybe humans are supposed to be in the overgrowth. With the trees and ferns and weird bacteria that live on EVERYTHING and because we can’t see it, we forget it’s there.
I know the mystics talk about freedom being within our faith. Within our relationship with God. And boy, does it take a leap of faith to say ‘God, I know NOTHING. You do. Show me.’ And then you’re shown this shit show of ‘difficulty’ because you weren’t flipping listening and you begin to listen and then this incredible thing happens… we get dunked into unexplainable freedom for literally a few moments until it’s gone again. Yet I have more and more faith it’ll be back, when God sees fit.
So freedom, it’s a funny thing. I feel so grateful to live in a time when restrictions from government still includes access to lattes and fresh fruit and chocolate (for now, anyway). I’ve not starved and my home has been a safe haven, which I know for many is not the case. Not even sure I care that I can’t go to many places as my brain doesn’t like too much choice anyway, it’s chaotic enough without adding more decisions! So I’m lucky. I’m privileged to be able to reflect upon freedom as the act of reflection itself and the time to do so is, in my eyes, freedom.
So, maybe my freedom hadn’t been taken away at all. I got to see just how flipping lucky I am to say ‘I can’t so this right now but I will. For now, I meditate’… as I write this, I’m becoming utterly aware of just how free I actually am.