It was the year characterized by restrictions that taught me the most about Freedom. How true freedom is to be found within the depth of my being, and gives rise to compassion for humanity that allows me to sacrifice my small self for something greater. And how I through compassionate sacrifice are actually receiving and able to give.
This year my inner longing for freedom was beautifully mirrored through my relationship with everything external. The external realities, I have learned to invest and attach my idea of freedom to, were this year questioned, challenged and taken away from me little by little. Ideas like;
How busy my social life is, and how many friends I see or have.
How much money I make.
Whether I can do what I want, when I want.
Where I live.
The status of my relationships.
The success of my career.
To say what I want, when I want.
My sense of true or false, right or wrong.
When all this fall away, what remains? Nothing. And in that nothingness, I was given the opportunity to find more and more of myself. It gave me an opportunity to find out deeper, who I really am underneath all the attachments, definitions and entitlements I had decorated myself with. Some was easier to let go of, such as my social life, and some was harder – such as becoming a mother. Some was easy to see, such as my fear of not having money and others were more difficult to discover, such as the illusions disguising itself as power.
Finding out more about who I am has not been about knowing more about my personality, my uniqueness, ideas, skills, strengths or dreams. Or coming into clarity with a story I can bring to the world. I have none of that to share. It has been about becoming nobody at all.
I would not be able to tell you who I have become this year through explanations or definitions. Or who I am today. It has been a sometimes painful or scary process of letting go of what I knew about myself and the world. It has been a challenging process of losing my Mind’s need to cling to definitions, to beliefs, to right, wrong, understandings and to allow for the Nothingness and the All to coexist in harmony within.
As all external definitions, whether in the physical or internalized, dissolves, there is only one place to rest my mind, my awareness, my being. And that is in the loving embrace of Life itself, and its inherent quality of being Unknown and Unknowable. This is where I find freedom.
As I with each dissolved freedom, turned inward, I found a deeper connection to something greater than my small self, who had invested its freedom in the impermanence of external reality and beliefs. Whether expressed in the physical, or as internalized structures of identity helping me to navigate existence. It taught me more about how true freedom comes from my connection to something greater, my trust in the miracle of Life and the Love that underlines it all, and a deeper understanding of the true nature of reality.
And with every breath that releases tensions of old ways in even the tiniest parts of my body, this is who I am slowly becoming. Through my deepened connection to Life, I am becoming Life itself. In this connection, I find myself.
It is a Self beyond words. It is a Self that rests in peace with the unknown as a silent partner. From here a love transpires that allow me to open my heart to all. From here beauty exists even in the seemingly ugly. From here I surrender to a trust in being carried by life itself, and I’m released from the pressure to know or understand anything. Wonder and magic becomes the true companion of this adventure that is life, and makes even the unbearable moments bearable, by revealing to me my own humility, strength, power, gentleness and creativity.
As my true Self, I stand solid in the middle of a swinging pendulum of thoughts and emotions. Either observing its swings or letting it swing without me paying much attention at all. Letting it come to a stand still and swing again. Here, there is no longer anything to be against, nothing to argue with, nothing to resist or oppose or to fear. I can be compassionate towards all that arise, see it all as valid experiences. And I can more easily give up my ideas of freedoms, to become truly free. And as I become free, a space within my heart frees up and give room for others to also be free to be who they are.
My mind cannot understand freedom. My Soul knows freedom, and it teaches my mind slowly, step by step. I shift from trusting my mind to trusting my Soul, and helping it to realize that I am life itself. And how I each day have the opportunity to rise deeper from within. To become more of Life itself.