by Anatoly IVANOV


Are we really free? Are we free to be who we really are?

The answer is no, we are not free. True freedom has to do with the human spirit — it is the freedom to be who we really are.

Who stops us from being free? We blame the government, we blame the weather, we blame our parents, we blame inflation, we blame religion.

But who really stops us from being free? We stop ourselves. We choose to get married, and we choose to say that we lose our freedom, then we get divorced, and we are still not free. What stops us? Why can’t we be ourselves?

The real you is the little child who never grew up. Sometimes that little child comes out when you are painting, or writing poetry, or playing the piano, or expressing yourself in some way. These are the happiest moments of your life — when the real you comes out, when you don’t care about the past, and you don’t worry about the future. You are childlike.

But if we look at our lives we see that most of the time we do things just to please others, just to be accepted by others, rather than living our lives to please ourselves. We chose to “grow up”. To become “adults with responsibilities”. We have to pay the rent, we have to support our family.

We go to work every day just thinking of Friday, and the money we will get from the work we are doing. We are working for the reward, and as a result we resist work. We work so hard all week long, suffering the work, suffering the action, not because we like to, but because we feel we have to. And when we receive the money — we are unhappy.

And when the Friday night arrives, as it does now, and we get to do what we want to do for 2 days, what do we actually do? Play the piano? Write some poetry?

No. We try to escape. We buy stuff. We overeat, we get drunk and high. Because we don’t like ourselves, our choices and fears. We don’t like our life. There are many ways that we hurt ourselves when we don’t like who we are — not free and not authentic.

And maybe the worst are the lies we tell ourselves, when we fake our choices with “positivity”. Alcohol-positive. Body-positive. Addiction-positive. But not free.

(loosely paraphrased from The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz)



Find out more about my posting and comments policy, as well as publishing frequency and copyright issues.

TIP: To print images, enable “Print backgrounds” in your browser preferences.