Thank You Notes
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Thank You Notes

A Journey to Real Freedom

A tale of escape from an invisible prison

Photo by Robert Nordahl on Unsplash

“Freedom is the open window through which pours the sunlight of the human spirit and human dignity.”

-Herbert Hoover

A while ago, while working on an SEO Audit report, I glanced out of the window to refresh my mind. A cheerful yellow butterfly caught my eye. The butterfly, as always, was a beautiful work of art.

A stray thought made me wonder why we all love yellow butterflies, even though yellow is the least favorite color (as only 5% of the global population prefers it).

The rich patterns and striking colors add colors to gardens and appeal to human eyes. Psychology tells just watching butterflies is good for mental health.

However, I love them for their lightness — a fascinating fact that keeps them from being caught and grants them freedom.

Since the featherlight artwork of the universe (the butterfly) is free and so it looks beautiful.

Watching butterfly’s play in my garden, I recollected how I cherished light-heartedness when I got to taste real freedom. The moment I decided to free myself from my burdensome thoughts and views, I was myself.

Prison is, in essence, a name of barriers (both physical and imagined) that rob souls of their uniqueness.

Breaking free from these barriers is the only way to seek happiness in all realms of life.

In my youthful confusion, I used to make four of two and two inside my mind. Having read loads of books on human psychology, I looked for unconscious clues to decipher puzzles of unpleasant stuff that happened to me.

My inquisitive thoughts would always weigh me down. Confirming someone’s harshness or arrogance did not help me. Instead, I suffered more from my overthinking.

I reminded myself of the other side of the story — the side I just can imagine, or perhaps I cannot. No one can penetrate the facts of both sides. I had to unlearn the knowledge I’d gleaned in years, to free myself.

For the first time in my life, I realized why the desire to be free of all restraints remains a desire. The biggest obstacle to our freedom is in our hearts and minds. And so our hunt for freedom in the outside world cannot take us to the desired road.

Freedom is having the right to be different — a condition where nothing can control our feelings or choices.

But I often wonder do we really want to free ourselves from the control of our thoughts?

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

When the pandemic hit our world, being enslaved by lockdowns seemed weird. Restrictions infringed human rights. Lockdowns triggered mental health conditions or worsened existing ones. It wasn’t easy to embrace new policies amid an invisible enemy. But it wasn’t impossible.

Sooner or later all of us adopted changes.

And that way, we apprehended lockdowns hadn’t aggravated mental health problems. Instead, our thoughts did.

An imagined fear and grief of uncertainty worsened our conditions.

Pandemic gave me a new perspective on freedom. Freedom of choice, expression, assembly is valuable, but how much we free ourselves has nothing to do with the freedom offered by the state or religion.

“It’s not the load that breaks you down. It’s the way you carry it.” — C.S. Lewis

Real freedom is when we free ourselves from the chains of past, grudges, injuries, not for others but for ourselves.

We all are born free. Inclining our thoughts to injuries always lets us down. It is like getting blood from a stone. And, even though dwelling in the freest parts of the world, we remain in chains of thoughts and feelings. Until we want to.

We’re either victors or victims of our circumstances. It is always our choice. And, in that choice lies the future of our freedom.

To relish this moment, the last moment has to die. To firmly ground ourselves in present, we must lessen our visits to unpleasant thoughts.

False and manipulated images formed by overthinking take us to an imaginary world of pains and worries.

We were made to love ourselves and others. But over the years we learned to burden ourselves by harboring insults (as Mark Twain puts in his book Letters From The Earth), only to complicate our simple life.

Real freedom won’t find our way unless we unlearn these ploys.

By letting go of feelings (and illusions) — by relinquishing disturbing thoughts, we accept ourselves and understand the true meaning of life.

When we free ourselves from the burdens of others, we’re free to enjoy our life with a contented heart. The universe offers surplus contentment to those who seek it.

To be as free as a cheerful, tiny butterfly, I had to break the shells (of thoughts) that had concealed my true self. Now I do not have to seek escape from gruesome images; instead, I find myself smiling at positive images in my mind.

I am grateful for having tasted real freedom and I really hope you are as free.

“And he who has considered all the contrasts on this earth, and is no more disturbed by anything whatever in the world, the Peaceful One, freed from rage, from sorrow, and from longing, he has passed beyond birth and decay.”

Gautama Buddha

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