We Love Freedoms Because We Are Slaves
Once, you were a child. Warm confusion. Uncontained happiness in splashes. Freedom was so free, you had no word to contain it in a thought.
Then: a fall here, an angry word from dad, a broken toy..or promise, a small betrayal.
A tiny thing, and more tiny things - with big things mixed in - started accumulating. Maybe you forgot they happened because happiness always blew in like the wind, and then some other thing blew the wind away again.
Tiny carvings in your mind. Life lied to you.
The story was meant to be this: arrive at the door, keep going, open your eyes and laugh, close them and sleep - keep doing this over and over, doing it differently every day. The ending will be very happy.
But the story…you forgot it. You were lied to - the fall, the angry word from dad, the broken toy…or promise, the small betrayal. All of those things, all, all lies. And you believed them, everyone.
And so you re-wrote the story, filled in the open spaces of freedom with the lies.
Maybe the lies were thrown under a shadow, and so you didn’t see thema as lies. The shadow grew; grew underneath you, going wherever you went; it grew so long, so large the light in and around your body got eaten up.
But you grew too. You went to school, made some money, found some happy moments - maybe a comfortable life.
The shadow, the shadow with its lies, crept in. It always creeps in, making you forget the story, or making you re-writing it until you find yourself questioning who you are, what you’ve become, why life is so complicated.
The shadow has made you a slave. You work for the shadow.
When you go to work - to pull those lies out every time another disappointment or pain hits you - you enslave yourself to a story of lies. You believe the lies - and because you’ve believed them so long, they become truths to you. So you put the lies back, and into the dark they go again.
This is why you like freedoms - those tiny liberations which bring you momentary joy.
These freedoms are you getting back to writing the story, making it your own and not the shadow’s.
You’ve been a slave so long that you don’t know it, you don’t work to un-work all those lies, to wake up and realize that what you think you are is not who you are.
All you have is this nudge at the back of your head - it nudges inconstantly, but it’s there.
And the message of the nudge is:
you were a happy child…you were free…you were given a story to write with the truth of your life.
And now, you must face the shadow, the fat and heavy cape you drag - the one that holds you back from the laugh, from the embrace, from the truth of being alive. Alive: eternally, powerfully, gloriously alive.
You are a slave. Me too.
So let’s break free. Let’s sack the master, and promote ourselves.
We must be laborers now. Free laborers, working to mine the shadow for those lies.
Mine those little lies, those big lies, and bring them into the sunshine.
Let them gleam - they are jewels to behold, for you now know why you re-wrote the story and careered your life away from the gold.
Do you feel the shadow lightening? You will, for you have withinin you all the labor needed for this work.
It’s the work of a lifetime.
The work that little child is asking you to do.