Breaking free can mean absolutely different things to two people. To a victim of domestic violence, it is breaking free from the hostility, for a slave-to run away from human trafficking, for a person in a nation of war-to come out of the trauma and run away from the bloodshed. For an addict, putting an end to the obsession. Or for people like you and me, it might be breaking free from our fears and apprehensions.
But as you saw above, most of the times, breaking free is interpreted as running away; just opening the shackles and eloping from your current situation.
Breaking free is not running away; it is breaking free in the actual sense. Breaking all those chains around thyself, so that no one can be incarcerated in them again. To skedaddle from your present, can never be a solution. Well, maybe it satisfies you momentarily; but it won’t last long.
Now I am not saying that a slave shouldn’t run away if he gets an opportunity, and instead stay and try to end slavery. But I recently came across this quote, “none are more enslaved than those who wrongly believe they are free.” The day he will be found, he will have to accept slavery again. He will break free in the real sense only if he rebels and inspires others to rebel against slavery too. Breaking free is ensuring that no one can ever take that freedom away from you. Freedom, if granted- is slavery. In reality, freedom is the slavery of your own mind without any external control.
The reason that I particularly took up the example of slavery to explain the concept of breaking free is, so you can accurately understand the concept of freedom. For, we humans tend to learn the best by contradictions. Wayne Dyer describes freedom beautifully in this one line, “Freedom means you are unobstructed in living your life as you choose. Anything less is a form of slavery.” The day you attain freedom, you break free.
Being button-proof, hence, is the first step in the process of breaking your shackles. As someone rightly once said, “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” Never believe what you are told without checking it yourself. Being gullible is not a good idea in a realistic world. Don’t let others dictate your thoughts or actions. Believing in yourself is a crucial step towards breaking your shackles too. Don’t give up. I know it’s difficult. But if you have faith in yourself and what you are doing, it will be a lot easier to get up even if you fall down sometimes (which indeed is inevitable).
We all start out knowing magic. We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us. We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand. But then we get the magic educated right out of our souls. We get it churched out, spanked out, washed out, and combed out. We get put on the straight and narrow and are told to be responsible. We are told to act our age. Told to grow up, for god’s sake. And you know why we were told that? Because the people doing the telling were afraid of our wildness and youth, and because the magic we knew made them ashamed and sad of what they’d allowed to wither in themselves. So don’t repeat it. Let the world see the magic inside you, maybe it gives them another chance to discover themselves. Break free, your time starts now.
Written by Samridhi Seth (1st year)