How free are we? In a democratic society where we can exercise our rights, our voice ... or can we really? or are we exercising what we believe we should do as a result of somebody's ideology we get sucked into?
"Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth". John F Kennedy
The question is can we really be free? Many of us think we are because we never question our state of consciousness, getting involved into many causes to make the world different. Don't get me wrong, I don't think there's anything wrong in wanting to save the world, but are we any closer to freeing people from hunger, war... despite our efforts?
"Liberty cannot be preserved without general knowledge among the people". John Adams
So, what is this freedom am I talking about? It's freedom from ourselves, our thoughts, actions etc. How many of us often say to ourselves "I shouldn't have said/done that", and lament about the things said and done. How can that be freedom or do we not think of freedom in that way?
"It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere". Voltaire
To me freedom means the ability to be free from damaging emotions, thoughts, actions and fears. But when I examine who suffers this, it turns out not to be my true "self" but the self that plays a role in any given day and situation. I'm only the observer of that "self", I know that sounds cliche or even weird but true. When you soul search, for as long as I have been, the truth reveals itself. So, freedom has always been a given.
"Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you're man, you take it". Malcolm X
My friends I dare you to examine your bondage and find out who is the one that's bound.
I am a freedom fighter from the insider
I chip away day by day
I'm a miner
Shut away from your light
I'm a prisoner
On my knees I pray
On this night I say
Oh Lord, Show me the way
I hunger to be in your sight
So shine me a light don't shun me away
I am a freedom fighter from the insider
I am constantly exploring, even intrigued by my "self". What is the significance of the "self"? I know it's strange to talk about "self" as if it was a different entity from ourselves, and I think partly it is. But we unify the outer and inner "self" and have given it an identity which we call "myself".
"The ultimate mystery is one's own self." Sammy Davis Jr
Often we refer to these two dimensions as body and mind, therefore try to study it independently as they do in medical schools. However, there lies the problem because without mind there is no "body" because the mind furnish the body with a solid identity, for example, through parenting, social learning and education. But it hasn't been taught to go beyond these accumulated data, hence limiting the "self".
"If you do not conquer the self, you will be conquered by the self." Napoleon Hill
This isn't our fault as we live in a culture that prides itself on status and fame. So we become slave to our education system including our actions, experiences and emotions which plays with our mental health. If you experiment with yourself, you will see that nothing new other than what you've learnt in one form or another can come to mind, and what the mind doesn't know it will make up, like when it participates in gossiping.
"Know thy self, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories." Sun Tzu
The only way we can know the intelligence of the mind is by exploring our thoughts, meditating, experimenting and studying the capacity of the mind, only then will we not give great importance to our manufactured "self". Being blissful and scaling to unlimited heights is a wonderful thing and we can only do that if we go beyond body and mind.
"Be yourself, but always your better self." Karl G Maeser
Food for thoughts my friends. Know that you're more than just the "self".
I stand like a wall
Separate from others
I call myself
A name, a frame, an encyclopaedia game
What is my aim?
A philosopher's life, position or fame?
I drift along in a road so long
At every turn getting it wrong
Disillusioned and torn so fragile is this self
But never have I been so determined to defend
What I call myself
Letting go is probably one of the hardest thing to do. As human beings we tend to get attached to things, people, situations etc. But we need to learn when to let go otherwise it ruins our health, mental state of mind because this is what happens when we fight against ourselves. When we let go of a certain situation that has been weighing on our minds, we instantly feel light and free from what seemed like shackles. However, as soon as we let go we find we are clinging again.
"The only thing that is harder than letting go is moving on."
The reason we should learn to let go is apparent, for our wellbeing. Surely it's hard wanting to be right or getting it right all the time, getting upset by people leaving your life and chewing over what was said or should have been said. We need to keep our ego in check, which is evidently ourselves and not a separate thing from ourselves as some may think. Letting go let us see with clarity without clouding our judgement.
"Let go of your attachment to being right, and suddenly your mind is more open."
Letting go doesn't mean we are weak or don't care, it just mean we are not prepared to play someone else's game of right or wrong, lost or gain. We don't need to prove our worth to anyone, just be in total acceptance of ourselves.
"Some of us think holding on makes us strong but sometimes it is letting go." Herman Hesse
Believe me my friends when I say there is everything to be gained by letting go, when you stop the struggle against yourself magic happens.
"Sometimes letting go is the only way to find out who you are meant to be."
Let go and surrender to life
Don't hold on too tight
Or walk on the edge of a knife
Flow like a river the life giver
That goes round and over obstacles
Without struggle or dither
When all is done be at peace
Not in pieces
Stay calm and smile with ease
Do you often feel down when you think how your life is going? If you do, then it's time you change your attitude towards life! What I mean is, perhaps, you're too focused on what's going wrong for you instead of what's working for you. The quote of the 'half empty or half full glass' is apt here, its a way of perceiving a situation.
'If you can't change your fate change your attitude.'
Fortunately, attitude is something you can work on and having the right attitude is powerful. For example, the way you approach success and failure, with the right attitude it can make a huge difference because you will see failure as a learning curve and success as a working formula. The attitude is to meet both circumstances in a scientific way. Hard isn't it! That's what we're aiming for.
'Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.' Winston Churchill
You may have noticed that the happiest people in life are the optimistic ones. They are great people to hang around with because they are usually very inspiring and come up with funny stories and big ideas. I like to surround myself with people like that.
'Your attitude is like a price tag, it shows how valuable you are.'
On the other hand, you may have met people that likes to complain, everything sucks, and it is always others fault. You may hear them recounting their misfortunes to anyone that will listen just to justify their position or disposition in life.
'A bad attitude is like a flat tyre. You can't go anywhere until you change it.'
So, it's well worth developing a good attitude my friend because let's face it, we will undoubtedly meet many difficult situations over the years. But it is how well we cope with those situations that will determine our grit.
'Don't allow your attitude to stand between your happiness and you.'
A prisoner of attitude?
Change it to gratitude
Feel the magnitude
Never let a bad day
Turn into groundhog day
Change it around
Pump up the sound
Jump up and down
Say 'I don't give a damn!'
Feelings and emotions are natural part of the human make up. So, why talk about it? Because it plays an important role in communication to ourselves. We can either run with it destructively or learn to use it constructively.
"To live well, we cannot run from our feelings but instead we must learn how to integrate them into our life and let them guide us."
We know that depressing feelings can get us down and escalate to more depression because we attract depressing memories, situations etc. Why do we let it take hold of us? Sometimes we may relish in nostalgic memories which even though depressing, in some weird way also comforting. Other times we may not know how to deal with overwhelming emotions so we ride the waves until it passes. But if we learn how to harness our feelings, we can use them creatively. Some people who suffers from clinical depression have written the most beautiful poetry, lyrics, comedies etc. I, myself, wrote most of my poetry whilst recovering from a period of long illness.
"The main factor in many form of creativeness is the life of a human spirit, that of the actor and his part, their joint feelings and subconscious creation." Constantin Stanislavski
Feelings communicate two things to us, what feels good and what feels bad. The labels we give to any one feeling falls in either or between these two categories. Our natural state is one of feeling good so when we feel bad, its telling us we need to re-align ourselves with the feeling good vibes. We have a choice, even if we think we don't we are still making a choice, so make the right one.
"I pay no attention whatever to anybody's praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings." Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
My friends, you have the potential to feel happy every waking moment creating your best life. A good book I recommend everyone reads is Following your bliss by Joseph Campbell. You can listen to the audio book on YouTube for free.
"God is not present in idols. Your feelings are god. The soul is your temple."
Feelings nothing more than feelings
I hear this song playing
What does it mean?
What is it saying?
Feelings mean more to me
Life to me
A roller coaster to me
Even more, exhilarating to me
I have been thinking about my own nature of understanding lately and my behaviour towards others. It led me to the word compassion. I think this is what is lacking in the world.
"Respect all manners of man regardless of their station in life. Compassion is one of the greatest virtues". Anthony Cermona
First we need to cultivate compassion for ourselves before we can have compassion for others. When we are hard on ourselves to tend to be hard on others too. We start to judge others' behaviours and the rights and wrongs of the world. It is not always easy to be compassionate, I know because I start to get irritated when I hear someone complaining about their life when they are not willing to anything about it. When I should understand that every individual is exactly where they are according to their experience of life. Just because I have moved on or expanded in that respect does not give me the right to criticise another for how they feel.
"When you have learned compassion for yourself, compassion for others is automatic." Henepola Gunaratanai
I need to keep reminding myself of compassion when dealing with people on a daily basis. I don't always get it right because telling people how to solve a problem seems to be my first nature instead of just listening. But I am happy to realise when I haven't been just with an individual because I know I'm thinking more with compassion, and maybe next time I will catch myself before the injustice.
"I think we learn more from the most imperfect relationships - things like forgiveness and compassion." Andrea Thompson
Lets be more aware of how we feel, speak and act so that we can incorporate compassion in our interaction with ourselves and others my friend.
"Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive." Dalai Lama
I can see in your eyes
Although, you lie
I can tell
All is not well
But I'm here
with a listening ear
To lighten the load you bear
S R Lore
I am a person who is into self development and I am always learning and striving to be the best of myself. I like to empower others to make a difference in theirs and others lives. I also like to express myself creatively through poetry. "I'm an architect, of myself...."