Are you free to be yourself? Do you truly know what does ‘Being Yourself’ mean in its original state? Jim Morrison, American singer, songwriter, and poet claimed that, “The best freedom is being yourself”. Are we being ourselves or we think we are being so?
Sitting in the second row and taking notes while the Trainer was explaining one of the Meta-coaching patterns last month his closing sentence hit me: “And only then you would be free.” Only when? I wondered. I froze in the moment, studied my notes again to connect the dots and figure out this tempting piece of information he muttered as simple as he was breathing.
“Taking ownership of your powers, acting instead of reacting, controlling your thoughts, emotions, behaviours and actions is the key to freedom,” the Meta-coach explained. And how is this supposed to happen? Is it truly that simple to control our actions, to stop ourselves from getting nervous, from losing our temper in tough times, to feel okay when being criticised or hurt? Is it an easy activity to carry our own weather under the storming events of the demanding and crazy-busy life we’re living?
Where to start was my question? How to make the impossible possible. How to act instead of react. The Trainer wasn’t talking about suppressing feelings or pretending to be fine on the surface while boiling from the inside. He was seriously talking about living freely by owning our powers, disallowing anyone to drag us to the ‘Reaction’ territory.
Meanings. The answer was in these eight letters. Reexamining the meanings we had attached to things and reframing them was the clue. Taking ‘insult’ as an example, what meanings do we attach to it? You’re driving your car, the person next to you tries to surpass you and he insults you on his way. How would you react? In many cases we get angry, we yell at him, we lose our temper, we curse the day and expect it to be a BAD one. Why? Because of the meanings we attached to ‘insult’. What if we detach the meaning from this experience. The same person insults you yet, this time ‘insult’ has no reference in your mind. You don’t know how to react. You hear some words, see his facial expressions and continue driving while listening to your favourite song or the last chapter of your ebook. The difference between both situations was in you. You didn’t feel hurt when a stranger insulted you. You didn’t allow him to infect your day. You didn’t empower him to contaminate your mood.
The key to make this happen is to quality control the meanings we attach to events and incidents we face every single day, the Coach instructed. Not receiving a gift on a special event doesn’t mean our beloved one stopped loving us like before. A nagging child doesn’t mean he’s undisciplined. A crying elderly doesn’t mean he’s seeking attention.
Our meanings aren’t originally ours. We were conditioned and brainwashed. Wether by our parents, our teachers, the media or the whole society. Though we were born like a blank page we turned into sponges and absorbed all the meanings offered to us and hence they controlled us and took over our thoughts, emotions, behaviour and actions. They overruled our lives.
You can’t be free unless you be yourself and you can’t be yourself unless you reexamine the meanings you’re attaching to things and develop your own meanings. Love, life, problems, struggles, family, career, success, stress, hardship, wealth, health, happiness are very few examples of the countless meanings we ought to define for ourselves to inhale freedom.