I have been collecting butterfly memorabilia for many years now. I especially like the butterflies that are with Angels. Butterflies signified freedom to me and freedom seemed to be at the top of the list of what I wanted in my life. There are a lot of directions I could go with this subject as it could fill an encyclopedia. But the direction I will take today is the one that speaks to me the loudest right now. What is personal freedom?
I have gone from wanting to fit in the box to railing to get out of it. It’s the box of conformity and I will obviously never fit. I really don’t think anyone really does fit but we all try to an extent so we have friends and jobs and hopefully a family. Having lived all over the world, I have always been the odd duck in the crowd. It took a few years of maturity to realize that I liked the freedom not fitting in brought. It reared its head fully in my marriages but I wasn’t mature enough to know how to fully achieve that freedom. Why does maturity take so long?
When I write my lists of things I want in my life, freedom is at the top of the list. I will always enjoy good company but never again want to be the property, not partner of someone. But that seems to only touch the tip of what freedom looks like to me. Owning my own home and decorating in my own style was next on the list along with meaningful work. Well, right now, work is out of the question. The Bells Palsy left me with something the doctors can’t quite figure out how it came to be. It’s called Vestibular Integration Dysfunction. In essence, my eyes stopped working together and I no longer know where I am in space. That’s part of the cause of the inability to stay upright or to turn my head from side to side to check traffic without becoming dizzy. It’s why I don’t dare drive a car right now. I just went to a new chiropractor for an adjustment and after the second visit he gave me the heave-ho. He says he can’t help me and is afraid to cause more damage.
So that leaves me with good health off the list for now but still a true goal. But health is more than the absence of disease. Being critically overweight is not healthy. It doesn’t feel good either. I walk everywhere and do a lot of physical work inside the house and out but it’s not enough. So that ties into the other part of personal freedom. How can I be free when I’m physically addicted to food and spending money I don’t have with credit cards. I have to support the eating habits with credit cards and I keep changing sizes so that means more clothes. Now, I’m not a big clothing shopper, just enough to get by, but every time I use that credit card to buy food, clothing or lunch out, I’m further away from true freedom. I’m owned not by a man but by a bad habit. Hard as I try, I keep falling back into the habit of not taking good care of myself when another road block arises. I get frustrated so I look for a way to soothe myself. If I can’t do something physical like work in the yard, I reach for something to eat. Or go to the mall and treat myself to breakfast or lunch. That will all keep me chained to the debt and not able to buy my own home.
I know these things intellectually. How do I practice them personally? True freedom is being debt free and free of addictions of any kind. Easier said than done but like the butterfly, I will not be free with those things holding me down. My dad used to have this saying; “I buy you books and I buy you books and all you do is chew on the corners”. Well, I’ve read every book out there and I’m obviously still chewing on the corners. I’m free of a man but not free from myself. That’s the next big hurdle. I want to be that butterfly in my own garden. I want to know how you see and achieve personal freedom.
From my heart to yours,