At lunch with a close friend yesterday He spoke of falling in love, but feeling fear at his recent thought of getting married.
“What are you afraid of?” I asked.
“Losing my freedom“, he said. “I’ve been single and a part-time Dad for 10 years and I’m so accustomed to going where I want, whenever I want.”
The conversation stuck with me as I pondered on his fear of loss.
I couldn’t help reflecting back to marrying the woman I cherish 12 years ago. It was definitely an adjustment and a loss of freedom in some regards.
But what if that commitment and restriction – binding oneself to a partner forever – is the key to ultimate freedom?
Is that a possibility?
Is constraint actually one way to freedom?
My so-called ‘restriction’ of 100% commitment to my wife happens to give me the following freedoms (among others):
- Freedom from loneliness.
- Freedom from the constant wonder and seeking of companionship.
- Freedom to give my heart completely with reckless abandon to one person. This is a huge blessing not to be underestimated.
Commitment. Restriction. Constraint.
Sure, they appear to limit our freedom. But looking closer they actually enable freedom.
Sure we are free in some ways when we’re untethered. But when we bind ourselves we become free in a new way.
Bound to a cause. Bound to a commitment of love for ourself. Bound to a commitment of love to another. All these bindings produce new freedoms.
I think my friend’s is not actually a choice between freedom and limitation.
I think it’s a choice between two different freedoms.
Seems to me our freedom in any situation depends on the desires of our heart and the meaning we give to it.
If our deepest desire is ease of life, hobbies, business goals, or even a cause we are deeply committed to above all else, then marriage and children will definitely limit our freedom to have those things.
If our deepest desire is unconditional love, a deeply passionate relationship, unwavering commitment, and the joy of giving life and guidance to children, then remaining single would limit our freedom for that.
Our feeling of freedom depends on the desires we choose.
And I think this applies to every decision involving fear of loss.
It’s easy to get hung up and focused on the freedom we are losing. But what about the freedoms we are gaining?
Overcoming this fear is simply a matter of getting crystal clear on what we want most & why we want it. Then making a choice. When those two things are crystal clear, We’ll blast through fears like they are so many bowling pins.
I bet if my friend sat down with a pen and paper and wrote what he loves and WHY about being single and married, he would become crystal clear on what he most deeply wants. The fears would decrease and he’d be empowered to make a confident decision one way or the other.
“Empower others. Ask them why; the truth will set them free”
(from the Truly Amazing Life Poster)
‘Why’ is always empowering
How about you? Any fears of loss hampering your progress on decisions in life?
Write what you LOVE about both options, and specifically why you love it. I bet you’ll find the courage to follow your heart’s truest desires when you do.
With every decision in life when faced with fear of loss, you can choose to focus on the good of both and just assess, which one do I want more?
When you’re clear on the why you gain power over fear and hesitation.
You aren’t losing your freedom either way. You are simply choosing between two great freedoms based on what your heart truly wants.
The end 😉
Make Today Amazing!