“I don’t want to be safe” Victoria snapped at Albert, “I want to be free”. This was the Queen’s response to her husband as the Prince Consort attempted to keep his wife well away from further danger following an assassination attempt.
My interest piqued, freedom’s melody stirred deep within. It is interesting that the scale of our emotions bears direct correlation to the sense of freedom, or lack of, we feel. From the depths of despair (where we feel completely powerless) to the soaring heights of joy (where we know anything is possible) freedom is at the very heart of human experience.
You are born knowing your power, and you rallied against any sense of it being taken from you. You still do, always, in some way. As a child I was fiercely independent, yet outwardly accepting of my parent’s rules and accepting of society's rules.
As a young adult I became quite anxious, so many people to please. Slowly but surely though, that part of me that knows my own power has stepped out of the shadows and has started to reclaim the freedom that was there all along, despite others’ attempts to suppress it.
As a Scot, the rousing speech delivered by Mel Gibson as William Wallace always springs to mind at the sound of the word freedom: “Fight and you may die. Run and you'll live… at least a while. And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take our freedom?”
In most cases though, we are not talking life or death, just everyday examples that slowly suck away at your life force instead. It often seems safer to stay with the status quo than to risk something new. For years in relationships I tussled this way and that with power. Constantly we forego our own desires in order to please others, or with some sense of duty to family. Somewhere, somehow, is the thought that I have to make this person happy, or they me.
The best relationship vows I’ve ever heard go: “I love you, but there is someone who comes first before you; my own alignment with the inner me. That is who I am devoted to, who I am feeling for, who my commitment is to. My promise to you is that I will give you, as much as I can, the fullness of me rather than the separated me and give you the gift of living with someone who is aligned. What this means for you is I won’t be needing or demanding (from you) behaviour in order for me to be happy; my happiness will depend on my focus. By prioritizing my own happiness I can assure you that you will never feel so adored and appreciated as when I’m in that happy, aligned, place.”
Yet as a parent, I started out placing so many conditions on my children, one of the catch phrases I developed early on was “it’s my job to keep you safe”. Why? Because that is what society teaches us, right from the get-go, fear everything.
If only I knew then what I know now, but no use for regrets. My catch phrase now tends more towards “I need to get myself in a good space”. For I have learned that, to access my own power, I need to be fully tuned in to that part of me that knows its worth, knows it’s free to choose my responses. It’s from that place I am of most value to my kids; or anyone.
From anything other than that place, I teach fear. That is what this world has taught for a long time. We have become unaccustomed to feeling our own power, the power to manifest whatever we want in our lives from a place of unadulterated freedom.
On the face of it, many of us face oppressed circumstances in life, feeling stuck in relationships, jobs or other so called commitments. But even in extreme circumstances, as Viktor Frankl taught, it is not those conditions that determine our own state of being, it’s how we choose to view those conditions.
My eldest daughter, like all others, keenly feels her sense of freedom. While we have chosen a school that best fits our desire for her to be allowed to be who she is, it is a school none the less. At 6, she resents having to turn up every day (which equates to half the days in the year given weekends and school holidays), she balks against it time and again. When she is there she loves it, she just resents having to go.
It is not my goal to give my children free reign, allowing my daughter to pick and choose when she attends is not the answer for many reasons. I can however show my children, through my own example, how to reach for their own power. While my daughter can’t change the schooling system or legal requirements and obligations overnight, she can change the way she feels about it, or not. That is hers alone to determine, and that is where her freedom lies.
This is not to say we should simply accept our circumstances and give up, as the saying goes “grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”
All things can change in time, there’s another quote apt here “If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it, I know I can achieve it.”
So ultimately, if freedoms melody is calling you, perhaps it’s time to stop listening to all the “what if’s” in your head and the fear they perpetuate, and time to listen to your heart and the power within. Now is the perfect time to set new intentions, to take risks, to break free of the ‘safe’ world in which you live. There can be no more laudable intention than to discover, and to hold in the highest regard, those inner dreams and desires you hold for your life.
Knowing I’ve helped in some way through my writing means a lot - I’d love for you to like, comment on, or share these thoughts with others, or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, I’m always happy to help if I can. To be the first to receive these posts, you can also subscribe to my newsletter and, as a special thank you, you will receive the link to my video 3 Steps to Becoming You.
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