“The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
of things unknown but longed for still
and his tune is heard on the distant hill
for the caged bird sings of freedom.”
― Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
Would you say you are free? Or do you crave to break out of your life? Freedom is something I often take for granted. Of course there are restrictions imposed by my domestic or work situation, but generally I can travel where I choose, I can read what I want, listen to the music I enjoy, practice my faith – all without fear. Many around the world can barely imagine such privileges. But whilst I accept these liberties as usual in my life, the opposite can be said for my personal freedom. Being able to live my life as the person I was meant to be is something I appreciate and cherish daily.
“Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you.” ~ Jean-Paul Sartre
I wake up and am glad that I am alive. For anyone who has never experienced a deep depression, waking up each day is not an issue. But my depression took me to suicidal depths that held me trapped for many years – fearful, hopeless, stuck with past memories, fighting a daily battle to simply exist. So to find myself living a life of joy, expectancy, enthusiasm and creativity is an existence that I could only have previously dreamed.
I wake up without the need for a drink. For anyone who drinks socially or is teetotal from choice that is no big deal. But alcoholism controlled me physically and mentally for many years. So to be able enjoy sobriety and reap the incredible rewards it brings is a breakthrough that I could only have previously coveted.
Both the freedom from acute depression and addiction are something that I have received for many years. Never do I take them for granted. They are something I thank God for, thank my family for and thank my friends for every single day of my life.
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” ~ John 8:32
It’s through my bondage that I have found my release. It’s by enduring the trials that I have found the solutions. It’s by confronting my personal truth that I have found my authentic self.
When you are feeling trapped and weak it is hard to imagine freedom. If you are the grip of victim mentality, it is practically impossible to feel empowered. But whatever the restraints of your situation and however hard it is to change what goes in your physical world, you are still a unique being. How you react and how you feel inside are choices that have within you. Choices that will encourage and expand your personal freedom.
My journey of self-discovery meant facing truths that hurt. With the comfort and restoration of faith I dealt with the pain. I allowed myself to start walking in freedom. Freedom to accept myself for who and what I was. Freedom to say ‘Yes’ when I wanted and ‘No’ when I didn’t. Freedom to accept my mistakes and to celebrate my successes. Freedom to love and be loved.
Freedom to be me.
What does freedom mean to you?
Images thanks to the wonderfully talented Aja of the Sagittarius Gallery at http://www.etsy.com/shop/SagittariusGallery And many thanks to Val Andrews – Escape Artist who’s blog regularly inspires me to consider and revere my freedom.