Freedom v Fear

· Grow,Heal

"Freedom is the power of self-determination attributed to the will; the quality of being independent of fate or necessity."

So...a few weeks ago I quit my job...again! I worked as a Probation Officer for almost 20 years and for the majority of this time it was very satisfying. I started just after my son was born. Little did I know that something that started off as a temp admin job would turn into a new exciting career. And I loved it! It gave me knowledge, an opportunity to utilise and develop both my skills and interests, a means to prove useful to the world - to help people improve their lives and find the motivation to change for the better. It gave me confidence, a feeling of becoming a part of something greater, something that advocates for justice; as well as a sense of comradery with my colleagues, an education, financial support and generally contributing to my feeling of self-worth. But most importantly it gave me Freedom. Freedom has always been important to me, but only now am I realising the extent of its importance.

Googling the word Freedom will give you many definitions, but there is one that particularly resonates with me:

"Freedom is the power of self-determination attributed to the will; the quality of being independent of fate or necessity."

To me, this is what true freedom is. Something that is in no way limited by Fear; whether this is the fear of change and potential failure, of an unstable income, of being different or of the judgement and criticism that may result.

It can sometimes feel as though I have dedicated my entire life to fighting fear and I know that I am not alone in this battle. Fear can often be as much a natural mechanic of survival as it is a product of conditioning. It usually has no actual grounding in reality – existing purely in our own “make-believe”. Whether a product of conditioning from those around us or from negative past experiences, it means that the majority of people live their entire lives imprisoned within barriers manifested by fear. This may present itself as frustration, self-loathing, a lack of ambition, anger and even depression. Our own self-doubts lead us to an unsatisfied existence - no matter how hard we may try to convince ourselves otherwise. When it comes down to it, hand on heart, how many of us are prepared to walk the path towards TRUE Freedom and Liberation? From my experience, this path is not exactly laid with roses! It requires the courage, will and discipline to defeat your own manifestation of fear.

Yet fear will never leave us. It is literally programmed into our DNA. There is no getting rid of it. Rather, we must learn to accept it as part of us. I realised that dealing with fear is not actually a battle but rather a means to become more acquainted with the deeper parts of our consciousness. The only way to conquer fear is to befriend it, and use that symbiotic relationship to learn more about ourselves and how we perceive reality. It is through this relationship with fear that we can realise what makes us hesitate to push both the societal and self-created boundaries within our lives.

WE create our reality, and every day we are given the opportunity to change it to something that we want. Or rather, what we think we want. What we WANT and what we actually NEED can be two very different things. It is possible to align these but to do so requires the willingness to explore our own qualities. We are here for a very small amount of time – literally a blip in time – so why not experiment with it?

I have left my career after almost 20 years and, hopefully, this time for good! Living life authentically means a lot to me and I felt that to return to a job that I’ve grown weary of would be reinforcing my self-created boundaries – a product of fear. A few weeks ago, as I was deciding the direction that my life would take, there was one phrase that repeated in my mind- 'lead by example'. My dream is to help empower people to live their best lives. The only way I can do so is by striving for it myself.

Having changed my life time after time, despite the persistence of fear, I have learnt that there are no horrors waiting for us on the other side of change. What awaits us on the other side has the potential to change not just our lives for the better, but the lives of others too. Why would you deny your own potential? We should not accept stagnation in life. Life is movement. You may – or rather you WILL struggle, but in retrospect, this is a small price to pay for absolute freedom. Our possibilities are endless...all we need to do is TRUST.