For so long, I have been clinging on to the idea of “freedom”…

…. freedom to come and go as I choose.

Freedom to associate with who I want, when I want.

Freedom to be with whatever woman I feel like.

Freedom to pick up my clothes or leave them laying around.

Freedom to spend money as I wish.

Freedom to think whatever thoughts I may, without considering anyone’s feelings.

The list goes on….

I have held a notion that a romantic relationship would by it’s very nature limit some of my freedoms.  It is true that some of my significant past relationships have done exactly that.

Upon further analysis, I realize that it was not these women who barged into my life and demanded my freedoms at gunpoint – I handed over my freedoms in subconsciously, ill conceived, silent tacit deals.

Upon further analysis, I realize that clinging doggedly onto freedom via vehement bachelorhood is also a kind of bondage.  Such a clinging to a single dimensional illusion of “freedom” must have a repellent energy, and most certainly makes me unavailable for the possibility that such a woman exists, whom I could love, be loved by, and continue to fully live out my life’s purpose as an individual adjacent to.

I was talking to Zak about this realization last night. He pointed out that both the alcoholic and the 10 year sober daily AA attender are equally controlled by alcohol.  True freedom exists somewhere between these two polar opposites.

I believe I’ve made myself a slave to “freedom”…. all in the unspoken name of fear of getting hurt again.

I’ve been sitting in this AA meeting for a while now.  I am starting to “get it”. I am trusting my nature. I am intentional. I want true freedom, fully expressed.

Upon further analysis, I realize that it is time to be open to something I’ve never experienced before: the triune experience of loving her, being loved BY her, and above all, honoring my path and staying true to it at any cost even losing her.

Perhaps in my willingness to lose love, I will experience it.

 

2 thoughts on “freedom as bondage OR, the triune experience

  1. Love this Paul. And although we didn’t have this conversation specifically this weekend, it speaks to me, or sounds like something I would say, given I could articulate my feelings as well as you. 😉

    Freedom is definitely a perception, and I have noticed my resistance as well to having my “freedom” or “options” taken away if I get into a committed relationship.

    I am in the same boat as you, where I believe that with a relationship comes letting go, or “giving up” my “options…..” which freaks me out enough to be non-committal and be single at 29 wondering why I am.

    Maybe this is why.

    Also, Dave…. You are spot on, and you have also reminded me again how people in our lives (relationships are “medicine.”) I also really liked however how you said that just because they are medicine, does not mean we have to try and make something work that just wasn’t “supposed” to work.

    I learned some beautiful lessons from Paul and Amy this weekend that relate to this post, and that is: I can accept AND let go at the same time. I don’t have to continue playing in my “smallness” while thinking im being my “greatness” because I’m taking the relationship as medicine, and that unless I can make the relationship work, then the lesson won’t be learned. I can realize the medicine… Appreciate it’s gifts… Learn from them, but not keep something in my life that doesn’t work for me.. And the good news that I failed to realize until this last weekend, is that my by me not keeping that person in my life, doesn’t mean the lesson is lost.

    It is a beautiful thing.

    Paul—– keep it comin’. Talk about attracting energy into my life that assists me in growth.. YOU are it.

    Mel

  2. Paul,
    As a lover of freedom in all it’s various forms I have to say this article is very insightful. It’s what I think is a correct interpretation of this popular quote;

    “Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”
    — Khalil Gibran (The Prophet)

    Both the impulse to “stand apart” and to give your heart need to be acknowledged for true freedom in a relationship. I guess it all depends on how you define freedom. I think a relationship that allows you to grow as the person you are, and have the potential to become, while sharing another person’s experience is the goal.

    The thing about relationships is they continually serve as catalysts to your growth. If you have buttons to be pushed the other person is almost contractually obliged to push them, no matter who that other person is. There can be relative harmony or disharmony as a norm, and of course a more peaceful dynamic is preferable. I’m so glad I didn’t end up in long term relationships with some of the people I dated. And I’m glad I didn’t hang in there trying to work on my ‘issues’ with people that I just wasn’t compatible with. Still, when you find someone who you are compatible with, after the first six months or so you get down to the business of why longer relationships exist – to help us grow. They exist to point out our places of resistance and give us an opportunity to look at ourselves objectively and grow as a person and as a partner. The ultimate partnership is to have someone who helps you reach for your goals and supports you. I count myself very lucky to have found such a partner.

    I think a good slogan is this – “Be the person you want to attract”, and I assume that person is someone who’s open to a relationship and who can imagine a relationship that breaks the chains, instead of binding the other. I also think being alone is awesome and being comfortable with the mystery of what’s to come is no small step. It’s a wonderful thing no knowing what’s going to happen.

    Whoever you hook up with, they will be lucky.
    D

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