freedom, my precious

Whenever we have too much of something or too few, it seems inner peace is broken. Life appears a constant fight for something, or grasping, going forward, moving away, back and forth, depending on our present need. Or on our presence.

This often happens on the dance floor too. Open Floor plays a lot with directions. Making the movements, however tiny they are, conscious enough to be recognized and named: to what I am moving toward? From what I am restraining? What makes me reaching out and what makes me hide away?

In these past days I just can’t stop contemplating on the remained fragments of Nietzsche’s “Eternal Return” (fragments, as it’s been more than a decade I read it), meaning that whatever have passed, will happen again, and what lies in the future has happened already in a previous cycle, and will happen again.
I often imagine this as rereading a book, or re-watching a movie: we know what will happen with the hero/heroine, whereas s/he has no clue s/he is fighting the same fight, making the same love for hundredth of time with no change even in one tiny movement or backstage; only  we, the observer know that what we read or watch is a frozen space. Why not reality? Let’s call it frozen reality.
For the sake of playing with the thought, join me: imagine, you’re a hero of your own life. Just like Joseph Campbell‘s ‘Hero’s Journey’ (of which I write more detailed in my book, Pillowsophia), we have our own trials, defeats, missions, monsters to fight off, and so on. Imagine, whatever happened to you until today, until this very moment, will happen again. And again. And again. And again. Would you like that? In case of course, we are aware of it’s happening. Otherwise, it would happen unnoticed.

That’s where I am these days, however, slightly different: I am a hero(ine) and observer in the same time. That’s what’s happening when auto-pilot is let to take the wheel and drive. Passing well known corners and slopes. Where’s my freedom? I know this is just NOT the way I want to go, I have been there so many times, I have repeated the good old scenario so fucking many times, may I, please, just stop here and get off? I do want to quit somehow this eternal re-occurrence of the same shades, and joys, and mistakes, and races; the same drama and same black-and-white pausing in between scenes, same old jokes and laughs… I have to stop. I have to stop it. For I am aware of this recurrence very much.
Where lays my freedom, if I always allow things to happen, instead of taking courage to ride my own horse of freedom?
Now this is something very similar to the Buddhist teaching of Karma, and Dharma, of being able to recognize who we are, what we do, and just quit (or not, but making it our own choice). It appears so simple, isn’t it? On the contrary, this is everything but simple.

Recall freedom. What is freedom? Freedom is choice. Responsibility.  Not always as sweet as it may sound. It’s definitely not a dessert after a great meal, though sometimes it may be. It’s the ground, filled with pebbles, some rough grass and occasional holes. Freedom is scary. You cannot blame anyone else for where you are and what your situation is. You may fall in love, despite of everything, with freedom, with yourself or with another person… Freedom is like choosing the red pill in Matrix. Freedom is discovering day by day who you are, and taking back your life from the auto-pilot self to your own hands.
First, freedom appears in small pieces: like today, when I realized I’m trapped in a well known pattern of emotions – action-reaction-action-reaction-action-reaction; it does not matter that I am already aware of this pattern, or that very consciously I want to go on another way for I wish to avoid it… then: I’m already there, it’s too late. I was not able to recognize it before I got trapped again. And yes, hello drama, I recognize you soooo well my dear, welcome back! Wait, I get you some drinks, I know you’re going to hang around for a wile.. there goes my freedom again, bye-bye my precious!

But what if I decide to stop? What if there is no eternal return, and I take the risk to go against the recognized pattern, against my usual choices? I have done it more than hundred times, and I know, this would be the blue pill, and it will hurt even more, and I don’t want to get there again. I’d rather die, I can’t take more of this. This is how it feels when I had enough.

Then I find the golden string: change actions. Change habits. Change pattern. Acknowledge where you are. Emotions come and go. Like clouds on the sky. Storm and light rain, sunny day, oh yes, and it can happen within just one day. But here they are. I cannot just push myself away, I must acknowledge their presence and their power. And in this is very moment of acceptance my heart stops hurting, squeezing and complaining. A tiny piece of peace. I see you. I accept you. I acknowledge you. And now, I have my choice, that is, to act and not to react. To gain all my strength, to reclaim all my knowledge and make that dimension-jump into the unknown: I gather courage to act differently than I usually do. I go against the wind, I don’t care, actually, I love wind. I stand my ground. Instinct is a good fellow, and I learn how to appreciate its help.

This takes such a courage! In any similar case don’t forget to clap yourself on your shoulder once succeeded… though the process may take a while. Still to anchor your success in the body gives strength to do the next step. This is not lesser thing than overcoming temptations, longings, desires, things that drag you to one direction of which you are too much familiar with! It’s when you had enough when it’s time to loose your hope. It ceases  to matter any more. Mind your act: thinking of it is not equal of allowing it to happen. It is not  bright to let all your hopes go and leave you behind. However allowing it happen may guide you to a mysterious place where things change their form and pattern. A shifting point. Where you may quit some things and never return to them again.

This is the change I pursue presently. This is equal to dare to live. Returning may be eternal as long as it doesn’t hurt enough to make a different choice, to turn away to another corner, to quit, to stand up, to move forward, to dare to jump and grow wings, to believe you are worthy for a better life. Not because you hope you are. Because enough is enough. And that’s one precious moment when we truly, genuinely dare to be free.

keep-calm-and-dare-to-quit-habits

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