There are a lot of rules I have imposed on myself. On the surface, they seem like a deliberately designed cage to contain me.
Daily habits and rituals. Not telling anyone that I fancy them. The rules of the “game” I have been playing with my family since childhood. The rules of my writing. The rules of my friendships.
Many of these reside outside of consciousness on most occasions. So, in a way, I am a robot. I have embedded programs according to which I function and it is very hard to leap beyond those programs. The only possibilities for me to do it is through meditation, staying present in my daily encounters and very intentional behaviour change.
I meditate to be freer. The same goes for writing and running. I do these things perpetually to taste the freedom and then, gradually, invite it to my other activities and ways of being.
There’s no way around this— working on freedom. Even though ‘freedom’ sounds like something uncontainable which arises when there are no rules — taking the nature of our human condition, it hardly ever functions this way. Most of the times, we need intentional routines and deliberate actions if we want to experience freedom.
As it happens, few of us are free by default and most have become the slaves of the system, the matrix, the conditional love. We aren’t aware that we are slaves, though — at least not until one thing becomes painfully clear to us: our choices aren’t really ours.
We make decisions to please others or to stay within the range of what society deems ‘normal.’ We take action that isn’t authentic to ‘get ahead’ or to prove something to ourselves.
How can we ever become free from that?
First of all, we need to realize that there is a choice, even in the moments we thought there was none. We need to see that there is always an alternative way in which we could behave. A different set of words we could use. A different emotional response we could wield.
How can we realize that? By observing.
The fabric of our experience has so many more details than we are used to noticing. When we learn how to spot the previously unseen subtleties, we have found the additional room for choices that previously remained hidden.
Then it boils down to actually making those choices — consciously.
Learning how to change our ways and act in manners that are not default features in our programming is the biggest of arts. It takes courage to dive head-first into the obscure, unpredictable scenarios, in which you don’t have the usual solid ground under your feet.
But here’s the thing: it is really enough if you take a leap outside of your convention once. Break your own scripts and put yourself out there, one time. If you only do that, you will already know how real freedom tastes. You will emerge on the other side. There will be no coming back.
It is taking the red pill instead of the blue one. You don’t know what awaits you on the other side. But you know with all your being that the only direction to move to is forward.
Once you take the first step in the right direction, there is no other possible continuation than to take the second one. Then, the third. And so on, until infinity.