Men find freedom in numerous ways. There really isn’t a one-size-fits-all definition.
This word “freedom” has been on my mind a lot lately. Maybe it’s because I am consciously choosing to take my own life in a different way professionally and personally, and that causes the word to keep barking for attention.
Freedom and I have this ongoing dialogue these days.
“You think you are going to find freedom ‘that way’?” freedom says (like it’s a real person, of course).
“Yes I am and I’m going to leave behind a bunch of negative thinking and behaviors in the dust,” I say. “Just watch me.”
“Yeah, we’ve seen this act before from you,” freedom responds, scrunching up its face. “You’ll never do it.”
“Just watch me,” I say, defiantly looking freedom in its eyes.
What is it about freedom that stirs a man’s heart and soul? If it had a cousin, then it might be liberation.
Before going further, here is a definition of freedom from Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary:
“1) the quality or state of being free: as a): the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action; b): liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another: INDEPENDENCE; c) the quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous; 2) a political right.”
Of course, some men might overlook this definition altogether and say freedom is going to Hooter’s or Twin Peaks with the guys.
Moving along …
There have been great strides made around individuals and groups finding freedom from oppressive situations over the past century. Cite your own examples and hold it up to a liberating light … that will work just fine.
Emotions get stirred up when talking and writing about this delicious condition. Calling it delicious might be a bit much, yet if you are someone who has been bullied, oppressed or abused for many years and that stops … wouldn’t you consider it delicious? I sure as hell would.
In the spirit of talking about it, I’d like to offer three distinct choices men can make to help their lives:
Personal freedom – It involves taking personal responsibility for your life and embracing all of it. Personal freedom allows men to make choices that fit their own consciences, beliefs and attitudes. Not mine, but yours. As I’ve come to understand through doing soul work, each man is my teacher.
Financial freedom – Getting the financial life in order, as best as possible, takes work. Many years of men’s right choices might have been derailed because others made horrid decisions. Just look at the 2008 financial collapse in the United States as an example. A conscious effort on a man’s part to honestly and fervently attack this area of his life can definitely reposition it in a better way. By the way, I’m not downplaying economic inequality here. Is it real? Yes. Is it right? To me, no. So it means looking at finances from a different perspective and see what works in each man’s life.
Spiritual freedom – This area is open to each man’s interpretation. I am simply presenting this option as an opportunity for men to get in touch with that inner essence of goodness and love inside. If you doubt that you have it, then look again because it is in there. I know it is as I have seen it in all types of men throughout my life.
Do you think these areas of freedom are impossible to accomplish? Before jumping up and down and yelling “Yes it is because you do not know my situation,” I would ask you to simply review each possibility.
Freedom really is more than just a word.
Being in a community of like-minded people is one of the greatest gifts in my life. Each man has his own path to a community, but being a part of it is joyous and blissful. There are men who are more introverted at times (including myself) and can drift toward loneliness and reclusiveness.
I’ve fallen into this trap too many times and it has thrown me into different emotional and mental states. I am definitely not a happy camper when the sense of freedom gets tossed overboard. There is none at this point.
Responsibilities to family or business can become so overwhelming that even feeling free for a second seems totally impossible. Some men are responsible for taking care of so many different issues that they have no time to see if freedom is possible for them.
My own life experience kept me going around like a dog chasing his tail. I never caught my tail. It got kicked a lot by my own decisions and actions. Stupid and dumb ones … and using those words about me are not centered in freedom.
Look man, this freedom that everyone so fervently wants in life is possible. It is as real as the sunset along a beach. It is as real as a field of bluebonnets rising in springtime.
People seeking freedom either for themselves or a cause have fought the good fight and lost the battle. Emotions are powerful indicators that let a man know if he’s closer or further away from being connected, at a deep level, to peace and serenity.
The term “freedom fighter” has a lot of heaviness to it. If a man is seeking freedom for good reasons, isn’t fighting for it worth it? Again, that question is open to interpretation.
A few decades ago, Tim Hardin sang “Simple Song of Freedom,” written by Bobby Darin. It is as much a reflection on the times (circa 1960s) then and now. Today, more than ever, this song rings true and can enlighten a man’s desire for freedom. Yes, the song does have definite political and societal overtones. Some things never change, and that makes me feel sad.
Freedom is a worthwhile endeavor for a man to seek. Don’t give up.
Photo: Getty Images