An image of a cityscape through a hole in a chain link fence


A heavy weight pulls at you, for a while you sit with it, not knowing what to do, but you think- no, you’re sure- you’re stuck. Stuck in the place you’re at right now, with what you’ve got, with the people around you, stuck with a future which feels fixed to a certain end, yet ever-changing and unpredictable. The world trudges along in all it’s mundanity, the grey skies and grey office buildings. The roar of the city is too loud. The quiet of the country is deafening.

You think you’re stuck, but you think that you know the way out. If you just had that item, the one that’s missing from your life. If you could just take that course, develop that skill, learn that language. If you just had that extra £100, $5000, €10000.

You don’t have those things, and so you find ways to obtain them. You’re going to work harder than you’d like, to pay more for things you think you need. You’re going to spend more so that your possessions match your concept of worth, of value, of success. You’re going to spend less time with people so that you can work on training, earning, making something of yourself. Meanwhile, there becomes less and less of you, as you become someone you barely recognise, with nobody around you. You’re still stuck, but now you’re stuck with nothing.

You try to run from it. Take holidays. Move neighbourhoods. Change the people around you. Your past tugs at your sleeve. Your future waits like a horrible void. You’re never present.

Yet, somehow, you’re stuck in the present.

But you, and I, will come to learn that freedom isn’t made of things, freedom isn’t a bank balance number, it’s not your work, or your subjective ‘success’. Freedom is finding joy in the present, while accepting that your past is not changeable and your future is not predictable. Freedom is a commitment to forgive yourself and others, to allow yourself patience, kindness, and boundaries. Freedom is the next sunrise, promising a new beginning, if only you allow yourself to have it.

What defines the mindset of freedom to you? What would you do if you allowed yourself to be free?

Featured image: Oskars Sylwan via Unsplash.

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