What does it mean to be Free?

Image by Adrian Campfield from Pixabay

This blog is called SoonToBeFree so I think it is important that we emphasize what it means to be Free in the context of this blog and more importantly, in our lives. Freedom can mean a whole lot of things to a lot of different people from all walks of life. It is an extremely subjective word and evokes a great deal of emotion. When I looked at the dictionary for a definition, whilst there were many given, the one that stood out to me was:

the state of not being subject to or affected by (something undesirable).

Oxford Languages Dictionary

Ultimately, I’ve lived a sheltered existent so I have not experienced some of the most undesirable preventions of freedom that I know many people have. The sort of stuff you see on the news daily to drive up fear and unhappiness in the populace. I have grown up in a happy family without the affliction of great poverty, tragedy, or hardship. There are many levels of undesirable things that I do not have to deal with on a day to day basis for which I am presently grateful and hope the same can be said for you. This is all to say that the ‘Free’ that I’m searching for and documenting in this blog is coming from a privileged position, to begin with.

Nevertheless, the definition of freedom that I have chosen allows for subjectivity. It allows us to put emphasis on the things in our life that are undesirable. Undesirable to one person, can mean appealing for another so I’m going to outline some of the aspects of my life that are challenging my sense of freedom to give direction to my thoughts and posts.

Soon To Be Free from Undesirables

  • Social Anxiety
  • Financial Stress
  • Meaningless Job
  • Disconnection in Relationships
  • Thoughts of Wasted Potential
  • Negative feelings associated with Ill Health
  • Not achieving Fulfilment
  • Not possessing Meaning or Purpose

What these undesirable ideas represent is a barrier to what I consider freedom. Some of these will require practical solutions that are simple to comprehend but challenging to maintain or achieve. Others will require more complex solutions that get to the root of some of the conditioning we’ve all experienced, myself included.

Financial stress, for instance, can be managed through practical, planned steps towards financial independence. I have already begun walking down this path and hope to share what I’ve learned from countless sources on the topic.

Freedom from a meaningless job can be obtained by finding value and worth in the current role being filled or by learning and implementing the skills to find a job that actually provides that sense of meaning. Either route that is taken has practical and formulaic elements that can be implemented to aid the process but largely it is driven by courage, character, and a little bit of ambition. What sort of role do I want to play?

Outside the uncontrollable things that can strike such as stroke, cancer, or even death, most of the negative feelings associated with ill health can be corrected through diet and exercise. The scope in these areas are never-ending with tons of extreme approaches bombarded at us from all directions but freedom from the negatively held beliefs that drive these behaviours is the ultimate goal. I imagine that most people are aware or familiar with these feelings and have sought one prescribed solution after another to combat them. Freedom can be found in finding balance in the middle way.

Well, some of the other topics I’ve mentioned are more internally generated in one’s own head and can’t really be tackled through formulaic means or through a step by step guide. The search for meaning and purpose has been a driving force in my life for the last few years.

I always loved being told what to do next with my life, it provided certainty and ultimately I didn’t need to be accountable for my actions along the path. I would follow the instructions that society set out before me and all would be okay. When I went to college back in 2011 and I was confronted with managing my own time and goals, I soon realised that had no sense of direction of where I was going. I didn’t like where the instruction manual had taken me. I didn’t even know who the author was. Ultimately, my disenchantment with societal expectation led me into depression and out the other side, knowing now, that there is no prescribed meaning or purpose to the lives we all lead. This has to be found and set by each individual in their own way.

Exploring ways of finding meaning, purpose, and fulfillment along with tackling anxiety are core tenets that will drive my life forward over the next couple of years. Hopefully, I develop a joy for writing along the way and develop a heap of new interests and skills that bring me closer to freedom. The blog is called ‘SoonToBeFree’ because I expect that freedom will always just be out of reach, just around the corner from where I currently am.

Living each day with awareness of the present moment will have to suffice until then.


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