Freedom or Ease: What Do You Fight For?
I'll just drop this brief snippet from a piece I wrote to kick this piece off:
"I've learned not to hide myself… because if I don't have the courage to be myself, I'll never show up for the one who is willing to love all of me."
Without a doubt, I referred to a personal relationship, but this statement applies far beyond intimate relationships and even beyond friendships. In the past year and a half, I've realized holding the space to show up fully as yourself is vital, even at work. Think about it, most of our time is invested into that space. Now, take a step back and reflect on how often you code switch, bite your tongue, or dress yourself with the burden of not wanting to go to work before you even slip into your pants. Those of you not relating, I'm giving you an e-high five right now; please skip the next paragraph.
For the vast majority, there is fear of stepping beyond security, comfort, or the ability to predict what the next day will be like. Process that, think about that fear in different areas of your life. On the other hand, some people lack the means to interpret or troubleshoot the constant feeling of unease. Truly, our attention and energy become so commingled in everything that exists outside of our inner self and mind, that very few of us provide space to actually address the muffled inner being that is the hub of our overall power and potential. Furthermore, energy is a reflection of our daily habits and past experiences the mind can draw from. If we don't introduce anything different, we continue an endless cycle.
Therefore, cycles infused with less than desirable characteristics yield a less than desirable life pattern that our brain becomes not only accustomed to, but also becomes addicted to. Consider people who complain endlessly, who repeatedly confront the same turmoil to no avail. Watching myself type this, the only thing I can blurt out is "ouch" because that's real talk… please excuse my colloquialisms. I am that I am.
On my way back from vacationing in Costa Rica earlier this year, I met a physician on the plane who I ended up speaking with for the duration of that flight. Somehow or another, we got on the topic of mindfulness and the direct influence your mind has over your health. It was fascinating, really, to hear this man with over 30 years of practice under his belt acknowledge the lack of understanding behind how the structure of a person's mind impacts the human body and specific illnesses, yet he knows for a fact there is a connection.
This led to us divulging more personal information about our paths in life. He admitted that he pursued a career that gave him stability and all he had to do was follow the program. He indicated that emerging M.D. graduates enter a field that offers $180,000-$1.5 million, making life very comfortable. However, it typically requires all of your 20's and a significant portion of your 30's, which could continue into your 40's depending on what you're trying to build or achieve.
Contrastingly, I revealed that at 30, I've moved over 30 times in my life, I'd been among the last of my childhood friends to secure a relationship and a family, and I'm filled to the brim with wanderlust… all of which has carried me from country to country. Also, I initially chose a career based on my passion for education and the influential rapport I'm able to establish with young adults rather than monetary value. I explained how I prioritize my needs, creating a pathway to achieve the life I truly want to live, which includes what I deem to be the fundamentals of security.
After listening to me, there was a moment of reflection and I felt he was on the brink of regret. However, he communicated his thoughts beautifully. He said, "we romanticize what we don't have." And while we ended the conversation with an appreciation for our vast differences, I still couldn't help but wonder what fulfilling desires he stifled to create that variation of ease.
Of course, there's no right or wrong way to live, but I got off the plane pondering. Which option makes for a better life? Many of us strive for both, but the scale is rarely an even 50/50. So, freedom or ease?