Friday, 9 September 2016

The biggest freedom of all

These days, I get to read a lot of quotes shared by family, friends and acquaintances either through Facebook or Whats App. Quotes that these people perceive as humorous, inspirational,motivating, thought provoking and depressing. I usually don't pay much attention to them as I feel most of them are either too "intellectual" for me or "easier said than done".
But once in a while, I read a quote out of nowhere, with no intention of even giving it my full attention span, that strikes me - Strikes me like that "Eureka" moment, exactly with the same intensity that Archimedes would have felt.
Yesterday, was one such day.While I was indulging in mindless surfing I came across a quote that did that for me. It was a quote by Jim Morrison. Forgive me, because till yesterday I didn't know who he was. Wikipedia tells me that he was one of the most iconic and influential front-men in the rock music history. An american singer,songwriter and poet, he is best remembered as the lead singer of The Doors. I am not a "Rock Music" fan, hence my ignorance. But what struck me most were his thoughts below:Description:

Did you read that? And there my ladies and gentleman is what blew me truly, madly and deeply.
Why did it create that huge an impact on me?
Because, when I think of the word "Freedom", I don't think of freedom from conflicts, freedom from responsibilities, freedom from surviving, freedom from relationships, freedom from society or freedom from life. I think of freedom IN conflicts, freedom INresponsibilities, freedom IN surviving, freedom IN relationships, freedom IN society, freedom IN life to be "WHO I AM" and that's it.
On our journey through life, in our intent to please others, avoid conflicts and make  "peace" with situations and relationships, we stealthily and gradually keep on putting up a mask or putting up an act. Imagine a slow motion way of "putting on a mask". We start the process of putting on a mask from our childhood, way into our adulthood. In this process loosing our biggest freedom -The freedom to be who we are.
My journey into understanding and nurturing myself and my relationships has taught me a few lessons out of the many that are yet to be learnt.
1. Freedom to be "ME" doesn't come with a disclaimer 
So, I am not claiming that this freedom guarantees success,unimaginable profits and  no-conflicts relationships. But as Carl Rogers, a famous American psychologist had said "In my relationships with the persons, I have found that it doesn't help, in the long run, to act as though I were something that I am not". It doesn't help to act calm and composed when you are angry from inside. It surely doesn't help if I show love to a person who I feel hostile towards and it can be detrimental when I pretend to agree when I am disagreeing vehemently inside. Maintaining a facade has helped me procrastinate conflicts and difficult situations but it has had it's own manifestations in due course of time. 
2. Freedom to be "ME" is liberating 
The lightness in the mind, the lightness in the relationships, the lightness of not putting up an act, the lightness of accepting yourself with your weaknesses is just surreal and liberating. 
3. Freedom to be "ME" leads to humanizing "the tag" 
Jim Morrison said in his quote "You trade your reality for a role". The role comes with its own tags and stereotypes and gradually we start confusing the stereotypes with who we actually are. For example "The Super Mom" tag. That facade also comes with attributes of being a perfectionist multi-tasker and an omnipotent caregiver. In an attempt to be this "super mom" a lot of women have been prone to depression and self doubt as they strive to be the mom that the tag entails. Freedom to be "ME" helps me understand the human being behind the "tag" and be that human instead of putting a check-mark on all the attributes of that tag. It helps me, be me, imperfect, flawed than be under the hallmarks of being ideal and in sync with the tag. It helps me,be myself, rather than the best daughter, wife, sister, daughter in law and all the labels that the society tags me under. 
And that is the Freedom that leads to a personal revolution at an individual level. This is the revolution I am interested in first, before I start claiming that I can change the world!