The Meanings of Freedom

By 09/02/2017May 3rd, 2017Junaid Kajee

Freedom means so many things to so many people that it’s impossible to write about it without offending at least a few million people.

Side Note: Too many of us are so scared of offending people that we never get to speak (or write) the thoughts forming within our souls. And that makes us slaves…slaves of other people’s opinions.

Here’s a lesson that took me many years to learn: Always speak your truth.

Another Side Note: Mental enslavement is worse than being held captive physically. See, when someone is jailed or held in captivity they’ll always have the hope of finding freedom. When someone is mentally enslaved, they don’t even know that they have no freedom…so they’ll never fight for it.

Anyway, I think that your definition of freedom will also change according to your circumstances, feelings, age, marital status, financial status etc.

Here are a few of my thoughts on freedom:

  • It’s worth your time to study ways to free yourself from being enslaved by things like bad habits and unhealthy relationships with food. If you suffer withdrawal symptoms when you can’t get your favourite foods or if your habits are destroying your life, you aren’t free.
  • Draw up a list of the people who can make a decision that will negatively impact your health, finances, relationships, income, mental wellbeing and overall happiness. Now do everything in your power to make that list as small as possible.
  • You give authority to the decision-makers in your life. When you put yourself in a situation where somebody else gets to make decisions which you need to abide by, you’ve given authority to that person. Now this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Naturally, the world needs to have employees who will work for someone with authority. Citizens of a country need to agree (to an extent) on a leader. Followers need to unite behind a leader.
    • But it’s important for an employee to remember that he/she can take away the authority that his/her employer has by building/finding/devising an alternate source of income. If a job is sucking the happiness out of your life, you don’t need to be enslaved by it. You will always have options. Explore them.
    • A leader is only a leader because of his/her followers. You can’t be called a leader if nobody follows you. Followers give authority to a leader and if that leader has to become corrupted, all the followers have to do is stop following that leader.
  • Freedom is a state where you’re thriving in every major area of your life.
  • You have freedom when you stop rushing and start savouring the gift of life.
  • Freedom is when you can forgive completely, everyone who has ever hurt you. You can’t be free if hatred controls you.
  • Freedom is being able to prioritise the people who are most important to you.
  • You’re not truly free unless you can be there for the people you love, especially when they need you the most.
  • Freedom is freeing yourself from the shackles of “This is the way my life is”.
  • Blaming others is a form of slavery.
  • Being stuck in harmful emotional cycles are just another flavour of slavery.
  • If we speak about others – especially the details of their personal lives – we’re slaves of the ego.
  • If we swear when we’re upset, we’re slaves of anger.
  • When we refuse to admit we were wrong, we’re slaves of pride.
  • Our ego enslaves us when it tells us to leave hurtful comments online, make snide remarks and have no regard for the feelings of others…and we listen.

We’re not going to be here for a very long time. In the last hour of our lives, few things will truly matter. Being able to dedicate ourselves to the things that will matter most depends on how much of freedom we have.

You alone are responsible for your freedom. And your freedom is worth fighting for.

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