There are various shades of freedom, but I think complete freedom is the ability to choose how I feel and what I think about myself. Yesterday, while talking to my mom, she said that I was the kind of person that internalizes and thinks about things – which might be true enough – but then she also said that I wonder how what I say or do is going to affect others, and that I wonder what others will think of me. This got me to “thinking.”
On a social level, I suppose you could describe it the way my mom did, but I think at the heart of it is my desire to be who I truly am, which is a free and powerful being. Since that’s my desire, everything I experience will either feel like freedom or bondage (or somewhere in between), because that’s how I’ll know what it means to be free. That’s actually what I’m doing, rather than worrying about what others think; I’m discovering myself.
This is the last piece of the puzzle that I’ve been seeking. Everything I experience is measured against my desire for freedom. Being a slave to conditions isn’t freedom, but neither is pushing against or running away from them. Freedom is the ability to be free of all conditions, and fear is the result of believing that you are not free. You can like something and be free, and you can dislike something and be free. It’s all about the ability to choose to be happy – not to get anything – but for its own sake, because it’s who you are, and it’s what you want.
Now that’s true power.