The moment the slave resolves that he will no longer be a slave, his fetters fall. Freedom and slavery are mental states. -Mahatma Gandhi
How do you define mental freedom? What does it feel like? What would it take to live your life with mental freedom as your foundation? Do you know what it takes to achieve such self-mastery?
If you have not defined what mental freedom means to you, then you are living a slave’s existence.
But you can change!
When we are children, we depend on our family, friends and teachers to guide and protect us. During these formative years, we sometimes form ideas that are useful then. But when we carry these childhood ideas into adulthood, we often find that they no longer work.
We are often unaware that this is what’s going on. Often, we don’t realise the influence our thoughts have on our lives. During childhood, we encounter thoughts of fear, distrust, resentment – and these modes of thinking become ingrained in our lives. Then we add adult goals and responsibilities, and they don’t mix with those perspectives carried since childhood, so we find ourselves in conflict.
It’s a bit like thinking that a love of money is the root of evil, but still desiring to become fabulously wealthy – sound familiar? It’s a massive conflict. You would have to consciously numb your mind in order to achieve success with that kind of mental foundation.
How many times have you come to some realisation and wanted to smack yourself and say “Now why didn’t I figure this out earlier?”
Be careful of that kind of thinking—you learn things when you learn them. We all have our own path to self-discovery. Be grateful for those moments of inspiration – that gratitude will help guide you through the next step.
No one can give you mental freedom except yourself.
There are lots of people who claim otherwise out there, but unless it’s you doing the work, nothing is going to change.
If you have hope, courage and determination; if you persevere in your dreams and honour your own wishes, wants, and desires, you are fostering mental freedom. And, if you are experiencing depression, anger, anxiety, worry, that’s because of you, too.
Once you understand the influence of your mindset over your reality, you will realise that mental freedom is not about how you look, where you live, what you know, or who your family is. Mental freedom is about making choices for yourself regardless of your current limitations.
You can decide to exercise your creativity, inspiration and determination now, or you can decide not to.
The answers will help you come to terms with how your limitations are impacting your growth. And once you can look at yourself with complete honesty, mental freedom will be yours.