The concept of freedom can strangely be controversial.
As I explore freedom and what it means to me, I have tried to let go of any predetermined definitions or ideals that have been imparted into American culture. Which perhaps is something like this: freedom is only possible as a result of fighting for it through acts of violence against a real or made-up oppressor. Freedom is what we get from the high cost of our military. And we better damn well be proud of it.
Maybe there is some truth to the above. And if so, it is severely outdated. Are we not highly intelligent, evolved human beings, that we can come up with better solutions to resolve conflict?
The concept that we must fight violently hard for freedom, has led us to become a culture of over-consumptive, apathetic, perpetrators of violence against each other. Americans have abused freedom.
We are not as free as we think we are. Fear has got a strong hold on us. With fear we build walls, gated communities, judgement of race, age, gender, and thus creating a strong separation between us and them. In some cases fear is a necessary response to real danger. However, the challenge lies in our perception of what is real and not real.
The mind is powerful. One individual mind has the capacity to develop a strong conviction about something, that may or may not be dangerous and threatening to life itself. Those same stories told to each other, to a group of people, to a culture of people, the stories take on a whole new level of power. The stories become a condition, a belief system, passed on from generation to generation. We are not born violent and racist, that is learned programmed behavior. Nowadays, the media giant can feed a system of people more and more stories (whether real and/or dramatized) based on fear so that the people stay convicted and continue to buy into whatever it is they want to sell.
This imprisonment is mind-control. We are being fed what corporate-media wants us to eat, believe, and do with our lives. It is us, the people, who have fallen prey to the system and gave up our freedom to make our own intelligent choices when it comes to what we eat, how we raise our children, healthcare, how we vote, what we buy, ect. Believing otherwise is abandoning our own intelligence and wisdom to choose. With that said, there is still a great deal of healing (personally and collectively) that must happen.
We are more free than we think. When comparing our country to others on the globe, we are not bound by religion, we are not bound by class, we are not bound by gender, we are not bound by political party, we are not bound by lack of resources...that is, unless you choose to be. And than there is real freedom that our country was founded on and continues to thrive on. Freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom to bear arms, freedom of assembly to name a few.
We have the freedom to create the life we want, to dream it into being. We have the resources, and the opportunity be true leaders of the world. It starts at the individual level.
What can you do to embody freedom?
I feel free when I have overcome the harmful thoughts in my mind. I feel free when I am running in the foothills. I feel free when I am traveling a different country. I feel free when I choose non-gmo organic food. I feel free choosing my daughters education. I feel free when I fully love and embrace differences. I feel free when I speak truth. I feel free when I'm deep in nature, in silence, and peace.
I will not take these freedoms for granted.
May I have the courage to face fear, and live up to these freedoms in service of humanity.