November 20


Today's Quotation:

Total freedom is never what one imagines and, in fact, hardly exists.  It comes as a shock in life to learn that we usually only exchange one set of restrictions for another.  The second set, however, is self-chosen, and therefore easier to accept.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Today's Meditation:

As I grow older, I find it fascinating to realize just how negatively I've always seen words like "restriction."  When we're young, we tend to rebel against anything that restricts our freedoms, thinking that any such thing limits the possibilities that we have to do what we want, when we want to do it.  Only later do we realize that many of the things that we wanted to do would have been very bad-- if not disastrous-- for us, and that the restrictions that we faced were actually meant to help us and actually did so.

We choose to restrict ourselves in many ways-- the people with whom we associate, the types of actions that we will or will not take, our daily schedules, the type of work that we do, just for starters-- and those restrictions serve a very strong purpose in our lives.  None of us can do everything all the time, and limitations are very important if we want to hold on to our sanity and not burn ourselves out physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

When all is said and done, perhaps my greatest freedom is that of being able to impose my own restrictions upon myself, rather than having to depend upon others to do it for me all the time.  They're easier to accept because for the most part, I know that I impose them because I know what isn't good for me.  After all, eating chocolate all day, every day, isn't good for my health, and it also would diminish the pleasure that I get from eating it.  If I restrict my intake, I'm helping to ensure that I will continue to enjoy chocolate, and I'm taking care of my health.  And what can be wrong with restrictions like that?

Questions to ponder:

1.  What kinds of restrictions do you place upon yourself?

2.  What kinds of restrictions do you hesitate to place upon yourself?

3.  If everything that we did was always unrestricted, what would life be like?

For further thought:

Freedom of will is the ability to do gladly that which I must do.

Carl Jung

more thoughts and ideas on freedom



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