Freedom - Anne Marie Lee - 23 Jan 02greenspun.com : LUSENET : Experience into Words : One Thread
Anne Marie Lee Jan 23rd '02
I'm thinking about freedom and wonder what can be said about it? When I left school I was trapped in the belief system and moral and ethical codes and superstitions of my family and teachers. This effected every aspect of my life. Today I am more emotionally free because of the work I have done on myself but am still trapped in a belief system and a social system. I am also trapped to a large extent by my own personal history, the events of my life.
How free are we to be truly ourselves? Jesus said, "the truth will set you free"
This needs thinking about. I was talking to a parents group this morning and several times I felt I had to say to them, "but that was not truthful" in response to what they had said to their children to get them to, or stop them from, doing something.
Since it is such a vast topic it might be good to narrow it down to one area at a time.
How free are we to celebrate?
To celebrate people throw a party. I hate parties. To me a party is an event at which one is expected to have a good time regardless of one's mood, to enjoy oneself, to make and listen to small talk, to eat food and drink alcohol one doesn't want. I'm right there with Patricia in her comments on the Christmas Lunches. They are not about celebrating, rather they seem to be about fulfilling some obligation. Celebrating the New Year is another one. Maybe I'm a damp squib or an awful bore and so be it if I am. These kind of events are most uncomfortable for me. In them I am not free to be me, or to speak my truth.
I love the company of other people so I like small gatherings or informal dinner parties where the people can enjoy conversation at some depth. Events where people can engage with each other in a meaningful way.
It is not what we celebrate that robs us of our freedom, but how we celebrate. There is often a lack of clarity about what exactly we are celebrating and that also takes from our freedom, i.e., are parents celebrating Baptism or birth when they throw a Christening party? Are they celebrating Confirmation or puberty at that very important developmental milestone? There is a great human need to celebrate but is there confusion and unnecessary extravagance?
Are people free to choose what and how they will celebrate? Are they free to say no and feel comfortable about it or will their refusal cause a rift in friendships? There are so many questions.
Think about freedom and add your thoughts if you have the time.
Blessings Anne Marie
-- Anonymous, January 23, 2002
This indeed is a vast subject, during the past week I have had reason to think about it. On two seperate occasions, by two different members of my relatives, also of two different generations; I was told I was a religious fanatic, because I expressed my opinion, or my belief and would not compromise (my freedom). They also expressed theirs and would not compromise (their freedom).
In my prayer I had to look deeply at where I was going, and I realised because of the bonds of love that tie me to those I love, I could not just go along the path to God unless they also were coming with me.So I expressed to God that this was my situation; we are tied by bonds that cannot be broken. Love is the force that binds us.
Then I understood that God too is bound by his love, He gave up his freedom to become one of us; because he didn't want to go on without us either. I have to do some more thinking about this, but I just thought I'd share this. Rita.
-- Anonymous, January 29, 2002
Rita, I find your reflection--with the comparison drawn between our situation of being free and yet bound to those we love with God's situation in relationship to us--very striking.
-- Anonymous, January 30, 2002
Anne Marie, I have been thinking something recently that seems to be related to your opening remarks. You wrote:
"I'm thinking about freedom and wonder what can be said about it? When I left school I was trapped in the belief system and moral and ethical codes and superstitions of my family and teachers. This affected every aspect of my life. Today I am more emotionally free because of the work I have done on myself but am still trapped in a belief system and a social system. I am also trapped to a large extent by my own personal history, the events of my life.... How free are we to be truly ourselves? Jesus said, "the truth will set you free" "
The thought I had was that everybody is bound. We inevitably and universally emerge out of an upbringing that does not correspond exactly to who we experience ourselves to be or to what we experience, or--perhaps most importantly--who or what we need to become. There is not a close fit. This, in any case, seems necessarily the case today when there are so many possibilities in life. Perhaps in ancient Egypt, where life seemed frozen in fewer moulds and there were fewer possibilities for variety in life, perhaps then there was a closer fit between the culture of people's upbringing and the style of person emerging into awareness... What I want to say is that there is a need to discover something which our upbringing did not give us and there is a need to break out of a picture of ourselves and of life which is not accurate. I suspect it is not possible to communicate a form of life to a child growing up which will eliminate for the child the necessity of throwing it off as they grow. Now I think that many of us settle for a kind of compromise. We are afraid to rock the boat. We are afraid of the bewilderment which we would have to go through in order to leave what we have known since our childhood....
I think some of the questions about freedom can be discussed in these terms: that we are basically free, but bound by our past (by pasts with many dimensions and layers). We only realise freedom in emerging, in breaking out, in opening up, in transformation beyond our calculations.
-- Anonymous, January 30, 2002
Wow! I love Philip's response to Anne-Marie. Especially "I think everyone is bound" bit. I think you might be right. A friend of the family had 9 kids, and all have grown up, and are living, with struggles and joys, some married and some still single. And one of them is quite confused and mixed up.... and some of that is her experience of growing up and she feels bound by that.... And it certainly colours things, but I don't think that by being born in another family in another situation that it would be perfect. I don't think there is a state of perfect freedom when we are growing up - we all have those bonds and chains. And they differ from person to person, and some are worse than others.
Thanks for the thought, and good news - I've found a house - it's a bit further out than now, in Deansgrange, but it's great to find something, and I'll be moving in the next couple of weeks. I'll try and be at the group in 10 days time.
-- Anonymous, February 05, 2002