What does freedom mean to you?
Many of us have never had our freedom taken away, aside from perhaps as a teenager. Teenagers apparently have no freedom. As for the rest of humanity, when it comes to your own life you have by and large had the freedom to choose what you do, when you do it, how you do it and with whom you do it (and not only the educated fleas kind of doing it).
Until now that is.
Over the last few weeks, you have had severe restrictions placed on where you can go, who you can hang out with and how, or whether you are able to work.
Suddenly you are no longer free.
What emotions arise?
My question in this blog is, what have you learnt during this time? What are your Covid-19 lessons? Other than the obvious:
- “My alcohol consumption master plan was way, way, seriously way off “.
- “Why do I have so many children”?
- “Work from home in my jammies, not so much”.
- “4-day weekends, no, no, no, never”.
- “Exercise, really, what does that mean?”
When looking back at this time, say in 10 years, what stories will you tell about it? What would you have learnt?
Have you found that you are suddenly so much busier, that you don’t step away from “the desk”, wherever it may be set up, and that in many ways you are working even harder to validate yourself, even if it is only that ever-demanding person you face in the mirror?
Have you asked yourself why that is? Fear, validation, uncertainty?
I learnt that I am often selfish with my time, and as a result in my eager attachment to “being busy,” I miss experiencing the small things. I lack appreciation and I take so much for granted that often I am not able to see extraordinary beauty in each moment of life, the magic of the gifts I already have, and the heartbeat of the life I crafted gently wrapping itself around me.
I learnt that stopping for a moment does not mean the whole world will fall apart, in fact, the world seems to find a more natural rhythm when I slow down to walk barefoot in the garden, sipping my morning coffee with my partner, laughing out loud at each other’s fraying edges, since let’s be honest, none of us was made to live with such limited human interaction, or in our case such abundant interaction with one person, even when she is the person.
I learnt that love does not stay the same and if you don’t slow down briefly to see those you love, in time you may not recognise them.
I learnt that freedom, the ability to move around without limitation, the ability to choose what thoughts I entertain, which words I choose to use when describing my life or my frustrations, and what I choose to do with my one precious life is a delicate balance between I and we.
In the end
I was reminded once again that when we hide parts of ourselves it is a self-imposed “lockdown”. Imagine what those quarantined parts feel like? What would they say if you allowed them out?
Perhaps this global “lockdown” is an external manifestation of what we have been doing to ourselves and others for decades, masking the parts of ourselves we don’t believe will be acceptable to others, expecting others to hide parts of themselves you don’t find acceptable.
Now we are literally wearing masks and hiding behind the walls of our homes to get away from an unacceptable virus. Could there be something we are not seeing?
When last were you truly free? All of you.
“Tame birds sing of freedom. Wild birds fly” – John Lennon