How bondage arises out of freedom

All of us are striving for some form of freedom or another. It comes naturally to us. We make sacrifices, work hard, sometimes for years, to achieve a certain kind of freedom we seek. It could be emotional freedom, financial freedom or freedom to simply live per one’s values. What doesn’t come naturally is to preserve what is hard won. It just takes one decision to undo years of effort.

Our biggest folly is not realising that our new decision does not guarantee that we will retain the freedom that allowed us to decide in the first place. Be it parenthood, a new career choice, starting a new business or taking a new responsibility, starting a new loan or starting a new relationship. We simply take freedom for granted. When things are going well, we think of doing newer things. Then when they put the balance out of our life, we feel we have again lost our freedom and have become bound by our new circumstances. This begins a new journey of seeking freedom again.

And thus the cycle of freedom and bondage continues without an end. Never in our lifetime, having once found our freedom, do we rest and say this is it, that I have finally arrived. Let me hang on to this and enjoy this freedom.

Freedom has simply become a shifting goalpost, a mirage, we have fallen in love to chase, without really learning how to live with it and keep it. So, we treat freedom just like money, simply as an end, without ever thinking it could be a means to something higher. People earn and lose freedom just like is they earn and lose money.

Striving towards freedom takes focus and hard work and each one of us has this potential. But not everyone has the skill or knowledge to preserve and protect our hard earned freedom. Yoga (freedom) + Kshema (preservation) that is true wellbeing. Freedom alone,without the skill to preserve it, is simply transitory. And so, one simply moves from one bondage to another with intermediate pauses of freedom.

So, the message here is that freedom alone can guarantee neither well-being nor happiness and we need a skill to preserve the hard won freedom. How to preserve freedom is a topic that needs its own space for discussion. It includes developing skills like self-awareness, value-based decision making, resilience, emotional intelligence and most importantly a clarity of one’s life’s purpose and ultimate goals.

For now, it is suffice to understand that bondage is chosen out of our own freedom and freedom alone is no guarantee of its protection and preservation.

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