What’s your definition of freedom? I remember having a conversation with my brother many years ago; I wasn’t in a good place at the time but to everything I said, he asked the same question: What do you want from life. After an hour or so of this I managed to distill my thoughts into one word: freedom.
The only problem was that, although I knew what I wanted, I wasn’t really sure what I meant by freedom; financial, emotional, spiritual, what? 20 years on I finally worked it out. For me freedom is the place that you reach where nothing else matters, where your mind is empty of all stresses and worries, where your body feels light and full of energy and where nothing will wipe the smile from your face.
I’d love to say that I found this through meditation or from undertaking good works but, the fact is, I found it through riding horses and hurtling about on the back of motorbikes. For me, these two activities leave no space in my mind for worrying about the future or thinking about the past; I just live in that moment, filled with adrenaline and with a huge smile on my face.
Recently I’ve also found another kind of freedom and one which, I suspect, will give me even more pleasure than my dangerous hobbies.
I’ve spent my whole life trying to be in control so when life didn’t follow my carefully laid plans, I was thrown and disoriented which often led to times of misery and depression. Life has no regard for our wants and desires, however carefully we try to organise ourselves and those around us so fighting against life’s plans for us is an exercise in futility.
This was brought home to me when I lost my husband to cancer. When we received the diagnosis, we decided to be really positive and we decided to fight. We never acknowledged that this could be a death sentence, we planned our future together, we planned diets and alternative treatments. Unfortunately, life had other ideas for us. We fought and we lost.
It took me two years to reach a point where I could really accept what had happened and another few months after that to start living again. I try very hard not to control everything now but to live each day as it comes because I know life has a plan for me. I could regret every second of every day of my past but nothing would change; I could plan every second of every day of my future but I’m not a seer so I’d be wasting my time.
Now, I try to live every second of every day enjoying or learning from whatever is happening at that moment. If it’s something bad it won’t last forever and if it’s something good it won’t last forever…………..