Freedom is a sense of being able to think, speak or act according to what one wants without hindrance or restraint. Freedom is something that all people value. And it is something that all people need to a certain extent. It is also a guarantee that because we live on a planet with other people, we will experience the loss of freedom at certain points in our life. Some people however lack a sense of inherent freedom to such a degree that they become so obsessed with freedom that it actually destroys their relationships and ultimately their life.
To commit to something is to put all of your energy into something. Doing this on an energetic level is like rolling a bowling ball towards the pins at the end of a bowling alley. It is what is required to achieve an aim. With no commitment there is no result. There is no result in any sector of your life; whether it is your career life, your spiritual life or your personal life. It is impossible not to put your energy somewhere. If you don’t commit, it automatically means you have committed to non-commitment.
Responsibility is the opportunity to act independently because you are the one who has the duty to deal with something autonomously. This makes you the one who is accountable. Responsibility is also required to achieve an aim. Not taking responsibility is like standing at the end of a bowling alley, hoping someone else will throw the bowling ball for you so that you don’t have to be accountable for the result of doing so yourself. This means you will fail in every aspect of your life. You will be incapable of following through to achieve something in your spiritual life or your career life. You will also not be able to maintain relationships because you put the responsibility of keeping the connection and repairing ruptures in the relationship entirely on the other person. It is a one sided relationship. But a great many people, especially those who identify with new age spirituality and/or the hippie movement, neither commit nor take responsibility and confuse that with freedom.
Both commitment and responsibility come with a certain kind of pressure. We could consider that pressure the price of free will and autonomy. That pressure is only worth it to people if they can see that they get something positive out of taking on that pressure. Some of the things a person could get as a result of taking on that pressure is authority, self esteem, a sense of personal accomplishment, control and rather ironically, freedom for example. If we have an issue with commitment and responsibility, we have trauma related to both.
People who have the hardest time with responsibility and commitment tend to come from environments where they subconscious or consciously perceived one or both of their parents to be a dictator. A dictator is someone who maintains power over others by force. That force is carried out through the threat of consequences or use of consequences that the people they control cannot afford to assume. And so they choose to comply instead. Some of these consequences might be facing total disapproval, ostracization, being scapegoated by the family, loss of belonging, shaming, isolation, emotional punishment or even physical punishment for example. Because they don’t want to have to choose to comply (they are choosing to do so to avoid a consequence) they lose touch with the freedom inherent in making that choice and instead feel totally out of control. They feel as if they have no freedom in the household, especially no freedom to be themselves. The freedom they had was the choice to give up their freedom and personal desires and authenticity to avoid the consequences set forth by this parent.
A child growing up in this kind of environment also does not usually experience any rewards coming with their commitment or responsibility at times when they did commit or take responsibility. Instead, they experienced only drawbacks. For example, when they committed to a decision, they were made to feel it was the wrong decision or like the price for mistakes is too high to commit to a course of action. This is especially true if one of these consequences for making a mistake was blame and the loss of closeness/love of their parent. Responsibility came with consequences that were priced too high. To learn more about this, Watch my video titled: ‘How To Get Over The Fear Of Commitment’.
Freedom is all about personal desire. When we desire something bad enough, we are usually willing to take the pressure and pay the price for that thing. When we desire something, we are willing to take risks and commit and be responsible for our choice. But for people who confuse freedom with lack of responsibility and lack of commitment, the wires got crossed. Here is how: The belief that you were imprinted with in your early life is that you couldn’t want what you want. It is wrong and comes with consequences that are too high to assume. You had to want what someone else wanted for you. You can’t authentically make yourself do this. So you can’t authentically commit to someone else’s desire if it opposes your own. You also couldn’t authentically take responsibility for carrying out their desire. You simply lived your life to appease them so you could stay safe and avoid the consequences of not doing so. But deep down, this made you feel controlled and you resented it and you didn’t feel free. You lost awareness that this is a choice you, yourself made simply because it is never a choice you wanted to have to make. You felt forced into that choice. And because your association with commitment and responsibility is associated and linked with all these unpleasant experiences, including the giving up of your own personal desire, instead of seeing commitment and responsibility AS freedom (which it is), you see it as the loss of freedom.
If you are the person who had this experience, the duty inherent in responsibility feels like jail bars and so you avoid that duty. The pressure of accountability feels like a ball and chain. If you are a person who had this experience, the “all in” nature of committing feels like a trap. You want to be able to escape and avoid at a moments notice. Basically, you perceive duty, accountability and not being able to back out at any second as a potential hindrance to your personal desires and therefore as a contradiction to freedom. Because of this, you don’t choose to commit and you don’t take responsibility. And you call it freedom.
This isn’t freedom. This is a commitment to irresponsibility and lack of commitment. It is not freedom, it is a perpetual state of avoidance. With genuine freedom there is great responsibility and great commitment. This is also true in relationships. When one is truly free, they choose with their free will to include others as part of themselves. This means, they take other people’s best interests as part of their own best interests. The result is they do not give up their desires for someone else. They also do not expect someone to do that either. They commit to finding a win win scenario for both themself and the other person because they have taken responsibility for their part in the relationships in their life. They take great care to find people to be close to who are compatible to them so this harmony can actually be achieved. For more information about this, watch my videos titled: ‘How To Create A Safe Relationship’ and ‘Take Them As Part Of You (The Golden Key To a good Relationship)”.
If we do not un-cross the wires and begin to associate responsibility and commitment with freedom instead of the loss of freedom, we will end up alone, having achieved none of our actual desires in our lives. We will have simply succeeded at perpetual avoidance. It is the difference between succeeding at not feeling caught or tied down in any way (avoiding what we don’t want) and succeeding at creating the exact life we do want to live (achieving what we do want). And I must warn you that a great many spiritual and social philosophies were created to spiritually justify a state of perpetual avoidance, which is a state of resistance. Because these philosophies themselves were invented by leaders and teachers who were just as dedicated to avoidance as the disciples their philosophies attract.
It is your life. You came here to live it. You can think and say and do what you want and have deep and happy relationships at the same time. You can be free, but freedom comes with great commitment and great responsibility. If you want a life that is truly free, your first commitment should be to improving your relationship to commitment and responsibility. When you are living out your true desires with people whose desires are compatible to your desires, the pressure and risk inherent in commitment and responsibility will be worth it.