Freedom is the ingredient that distinguishes each individual, and ultimately it distinguishes us from the rest of creation. Totalitarian governments and acts of war have the power to limit freedom, but freedom is important in more than the physical realm. Freedom is also the power to act without constraints. Freedom is the ability to be yourself, to be able to act effortlessly in the things you want to do. Freedom is more mental or psychological than it is physical. Freedom is the ability to function without guilt or impediment. When you can live and act without feeling victimized, then you have achieved freedom. Freedom gives you the power to reach your full potential. Unless you feel free to be yourself, you will have difficulty coping with life. Freedom is not about being irresponsible. A healthy attitude toward yourself and a genuine wish to help others is an essential aspect of gaining true independence. Families, friends, or faith traditions that instill guilt and behavioral constraints are suspect. Controlling forces are unhealthy!
Question any person who limits your power to decide about your life. An organized religion that suppresses your ability to follow your heart is working against your nature. Family, friends, or faith traditions must be liberating, giving you the courage and strength to soar to new possibilities. Freedom, or the lack of it, influences your attitudes towards life, towards yourself and others. Freedom is essentially a state of mind – a way of looking at the world.
There are times when conditions, such as a terminal illness or imprisonment, will constrain your physical freedom. Even in these circumstances, you can gain the “ultimate freedom” by how you react to these situations. Attitude plays a critical role in the level of freedom each of us can achieve. As Frankl tells us, “Look for the meaning in your life.” A way you can keep walking and talking in the garden.