Love is What I Know

Darkness. We don’t sit there often. As soon as I get home, I turn on the light, feed the cat, and get the activity going. The dark seems empty. But it doesn’t have to frighten us.

Go back to what you know for sure. Those were the words that I heard when I was in my dark space. It’s taken me some time to understand their meaning.

tumblr_ldlfpavmov1qekgtho1_500Re-boot

In the Bible, there’s the story of Jonah, the man who didn’t want to preach to the people in a city called Nineveh. He hid on a boat until he was thrown out into the storm and he was swallowed alive by a great fish. Darkness. Crazily, he ends up back where he was supposed to be in the beginning.

I laugh because if you call the customer support line for help with your computer, the first thing they ask is, did you try turning it off and on again? Restart. That’s their answer for everything.

But start overs are impossible in real life. Aren’t they? A start over, a cleaning, a bottom level, that was the message I got when I heard the words, “Go back to what you know for sure.”  What did I know for sure? Love.

Where is the love?

I was uncertain of religion. I couldn’t tell you at that moment if I believed in God or the devil, heaven or hell. I didn’t know if the Bible was real or if the teachings I’d grown up with were true, but I did know there was a love that was buried deep inside of me that I’d felt all of my life and it wasn’t of any religion.

What does that mean? What does it look like? I had to stop trusting in everything else. I only had love. So I let myself sit in the darkness, in the emptiness with nothing to light me but the one candle of love. It sounds silly, but when you’re a traditionalist, and you let the old teachings slip away, the emptiness around you isn’t lonely or scary. The love you feel grows. There’s a freedom in that love. Joy unspeakable.

Can you find your truth?

Check out older post — My Skepticism on Religion  and Question It All

Freedom or Romance? Could you choose?

Which is it? Think quick. What would your choice be? If you could only have one, and be able to live that one to its fullest, which would you choose? The choice is a fantasy. No one has absolute romance or absolute freedom and it may be one of those things that no one needs, but if it came down to one or the other do you know your preference? Maybe you didn’t realize there was a choice.

The choices:

Cinderella with her fairyland romance. The prince claiming her for his own and in front of all her naysayers announcing her as his bride. The ring on your finger, the kiss on the cheek, not to mention the passion. Certainly the wild roller-coaster ride of romance hits some, but it rarely lasts. They tell me it isn’t supposed to last. It’s supposed to blossom, develop and grow into a fully developed love. Now tell me again why we idolize the fairy tales? Is it their mature love? No, it’s the passion. It’s the feeling of belonging. Instant HOME.

Freedom to go anywhere you want to wear the colors of your choice, to think and act freely, even speak from your own mind. You walk in loyalty to those you wish to be loyal to, not having to compromise your true loyalties for the sake of country, political party, religious affiliations or family ties. To move with the wind and flow as the river. No checking in, no expectations, no disappointing others. But having no preset boundaries, no home base, some feel lost.

The truth is these are not either or choices. Just take a good look at the choices you have now in front of you. Make an aware choice. What are you giving up if you choose to take this job or that? What does your family expect of you? Your religion? Your friends? If you are free to move anywhere, to be anyone, what is your gain? What do you walk away from?

A good mix is the best. There’s a balancing of freedom and home ties and it changes at different points in your life. When you feel the pinch of your too tight shoes you know it’s time to squeeze your feet out of them and let them have some air. In the same way, when your personality feels cramped or your life feels dry, boring, or wasted, check your home ties or your freedom level. Adjust as necessary.

But the question still stands, if you could only choose one, which would it be?

Aside: Here’s some beautiful artwork which seems to me a nice mix of romance and freedom. http://stacykathryn.com/artwork/

Freedom’s Just Another Word

What is freedom? I often get freedom and sheer exhilaration confused. Pardon my blonde moment please. I’ve often longed for freedom as a child longs for the last day of school. Or the first day of the fair. Running out the double doors and hearing the handles clang open. The cars lined up to take you away. Yes, it’s the exhilaration of the first day of summer vacation. But that’s not freedom.

So what is freedom? What is it we all long for? Of course it sounds like heaven to take off anywhere you please at any time of the day or night. Yes, it’s good. Not having to ask permission to buy a candy bar feels pretty darn free. But there isn’t always an emotion attached to that freedom. The first time you pay rent on that new apartment doesn’t always feel pleasant. Even if you are just as free on your own as the day you moved in. And the first morning you woke up by yourself with no rules other than your own. These can all be considered moments of freedom but so is the day you have to do your own laundry and cook your own meal.

Most of the time I think of freedom as what it’s not. Freedom is not being told what you can eat or can’t eat. How long you can wear your hair or if you can cut it short. Freedom sometimes seems only as not being held down, not being trapped, or not controlled. If that is freedom, the other side is there also. Because when you are free you must also take care of yourself. Yes I am free to choose my clothing and I am also free to buy it. I am responsible for the care of my household, which most of the time makes me smile since I realize it’s because I’m free.

I am free to speak my mind in a public or private gathering. I am also obliged to receive feedback or comments also. Otherwise that’s not freedom, that’s bully pulpiting or grandstanding.

Freedom is a blessing. I am free to work at a job to earn my own keep. I am free to have friendships and I am free to behave friendly and keep up those friendships.

I don’t want to get caught in the trap of youth that declares freedom but forgets the character of freedom is held firm by responsibility. Freedom is like the river water flowing freely and swiftly. As it rushes down the mountainside, it flows over a riverbed of stone and dirt that has formed over the years. What packed the dirt so firmly? What do the flowers and vines freely grow in? Freedom must have strong resilience and a responsible character. They go together.

For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. Nelson Mandela

A sense of freedom is something that, happily, comes with age and life experience. Diane Keaton
Yoga is a way to freedom. By its constant practice, we can free ourselves from fear, anguish and loneliness. Indra Devi

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_freedom38.html#Xcm4V84HiAdxD5fS.99