What if you could give yourself and others the freedoms that will naturally evoke happiness? Or maybe even something with more depth, like joy?
There are two types of freedom: freedom from and freedom to.
Yesterday I shared 3 things you can give yourself freedom from. In today’s post I share 3 freedoms to that you can give yourself and others.
(1) Freedom To Feel
Our cultural conditioning teaches us to suppress the unpleasant emotions. But suppressing emotions doesn’t make them go away.
You cannot selectively suppress emotions. When you focus on avoiding, escaping, or numbing the emotions you don’t want to feel, you prevent yourself from living a full and meaningful life.
Experiencing sadness makes it possible for us to feel joy. We know elation through anguish. Our encounter with anguish opens us to elation.
Allow yourself and others to feel all emotions, without judgment about what emotions are “good” or “bad” or whether you have a “reason” to feel a certain way.
There are no “negative” emotions and we don’t need a reason to feel what we feel. All emotions serve us when we know how to be with them and process them.
(2) Freedom To Fail
America has always been billed as the “land of opportunity.” And with that opportunity comes the pressure to “succeed.”
Imposter phenomenon — that feeling of being a fraud — is most prevalent among high-achievers.
Ironically, the more opportunity available to us, the more pressure we feel to succeed, and the more we feel anxious and depressed.
The fear of failure can be crippling for anyone, but especially for those who learned how to deliver in a high-achieving environment. The more you find success by adapting to give others what they expect from you, the more you feel like a fraud, and the more failure looms like fall off a steep cliff.
Giving ourselves and others the freedom to fail helps us see that we are enough regardless of our accomplishments. When we can find our grounding in that place, we can open to experience the full joy of life.
(3) Freedom To Be
When was the last time you allowed yourself a few hours — even a day — to sit and do nothing? In a culture obsessed with doing, it takes courage and discipline to just be.
Even when we take time off from “work,” we often resist stillness. We run errands, read books, make plans. Anything to avoid feeling lazy and “unproductive.”
Over time, this catches up with us. Without time to be completely unplugged in both body and mind, we experience fatigue, injury, illness, exhaustion, and burnout. We lose our edge and our spark.
Give yourself and others permission to just be and notice as you reconnect to the joy of life.