Freedom? What's location got to do with it?!
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” When Victor Frankl wrote that famous quote he did so not from a seat of comfort, but from the Auschwitz concentration camp, one of the most horrific places ever created. So then what could he possibly mean by “freedom?”
Personal freedom is much less about laws than it is our perspective and the responses we choose to make into our habits.
No matter where we are, whatever the circumstances, we are always free to choose our response. But hold on partner, not so fast! First we have to be aware of our habitual behavior. Without that awareness we are slaves to decades old habit loops, reacting to each stimulus instead of responding. That's not freedom. That's being a slave to neural connections that may have served a purpose years ago, when we were growing up. Today those habits are often unwise, unhealthy and sometimes down right destructive.
A major source of our stress is the continuation of these old habit loops. We don't think, we just react. And then we wonder why nothing ever changes.
But we can change. We can increase that "space" Frankl referred to by learning to mediate, and learning to notice those old patterns. When I worked at an addiction treatment facility treating homeless veterans I promised my clients one thing and one thing only: whatever you need to work on will show up here. And that's when the freedom shows up. Choose to keep doing the same thing you've always done. Or you can choose a new path, a path founded on awareness.
Freedom is not about where you live. It's about how you live. Whatever you need to work on will show up. Over and over again, I can promise that. Now what you gonna do about it?
STRESSJUNE 27, 2018