THIS is what Freedom looks like 🙌
Life is meant to be a vibrant, deeply felt, growing
mosaic of meaningful moments.
It is to be a grand, fully engaged, and unconditionally
committed love affair with our daily existence.
– Brendon Burchard
“I’m tired of being good. Now all I want is to be free.”
Does that line thrill you, the way it thrills me? Or does it scare you and make you feel suspicious, or even angry?
I heard this line from a client of mine who is — simply put — one of the most good people I know.
She has spent her entire life working hard every single waking moment to be kind, responsible, loving, forgiving, understanding, self-sacrificing, loyal, honest, decent, tidy, reliable, polite, and respectable.
And she’s exhausted.
Because none of this has left her feeling FREE.
Although her goodness is indisputable, her freedom remains frustratingly out of reach.
And now, she’s starting to rethink the whole game.
When I saw the look on her face as she said this line — a look of gorgeous hunger, ferocious longing — I recognised myself in her words.
I recognised my own frustration that I am not yet as free as I wish to be… even though I know that I am a GOOD PERSON, damn it.
So, here is what I want to ask you today:
Imagine replacing “good” with “free”.
What would happen if you let go of trying to be a GOOD PERSON, and you imagined instead what it would feel like to be a FREE PERSON?
- Would you have the same life?
- Would you make the same choices?
- Would you still be in the same relationships?
- Would you have the same job?
- Would you feel the way you feel now?
Back to my client.
We were talking about the prisons that people put themselves into, which prevent them from living expansive and peaceful lives.
We were talking about the burden of perfectionism, for instance, which becomes a highly polished prison, with golden bars.
I quoted to her the John Steinbeck line: “Now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.”
We both delighted in the liberation of that line.
But then I took it a step further, and quoted her line of yearning and frustration: “I’m tired of being good. Now all I want is to be free.”
What if that’s the next step?
What if you gave up trying to be good, and just tried to be FREE?
I know what you’re thinking. (Or at least I think I know what you’re thinking!)
“What about morality? What about ethics? What about duty?”
Your mind is imagining the slippery slope that could happen, if you focused on being FREE, instead of being GOOD.
Does this mean you will slide into complete decadence, selfishness, narcissism, abandon, and even evil?
What if it DOESN’T mean that, though?
What if you were to believe that — at the very core of your being
— you are already good?
I know you, beautiful.
What if choosing freedom doesn’t turn you into a monster, but instead turns you into a relaxed, healthy, friendly, and fully liberated human being, who trusts yourself enough to create your own code of ethics?
“Good” is a set of rules determined by whatever tribe you happen to belong to. Thus, within the tribe, all the “good” people will always look exactly the same.
They are all following the same rules.
Your idea of goodness and my idea of goodness probably look exactly the same. (Nice, polite, responsible, agreeable, generous.)
Goodness, in other words, is always socially uniform.
But FREEDOM, will look different for every person.
To be seen as “good” requires that you follow the rules of your particular tribe.
But to experience freedom requires that you follow the call of your own spirit.
Goodness is obedience; Freedom is self-trust.
Goodness is easier (just follow the rules) but I’m not sure it leads to happiness and peace.
Freedom is harder (sometimes you go against culture and tribe), but it leads to…EVERYTHING.
What if – at every big decision point in life — you did not ask, “What do the rules say that a good person would do in this situation?”, but instead asked, “What is my own truth?”
What if you dared to follow your own truth?
What if you believed the Dalai Lama, when he said, “Enlightenment will always taste like freedom”?
What if you refused to make ANY decisions about your life that did not taste like freedom?
What if the only thing you needed, in order to be free, was to believe in your own truth, and to trust yourself?
And when you do, you will discover that freedom IS goodness, because only when you are truly free can you even feel your own heart…or the hearts of others.
Be honest – what do you think?
My journey on the Camino really opened my eyes to all of this in a much deeper way, and it’s something I am dancing closely with right now.
Share with me in the comments below, it might be inspire and spark someone else’s life. As always, thank you so much for being here. I am grateful and honoured I get to walk this path with you.
Sometimes, we need a friend to say, Hey, let’s be free. If you’re that friend, forward this article on.