When in prison I dreamed of freedom. Freedom as I defined it then.  As I imagine so many of us would. Freedom of choice.  The ability to go where I want and do what I want. The freedom to take a walk and get lost. The freedom to drive with no particular place to go.  The freedom to eat at any time I choose. Not 6,11 and 4. Everyday. Freedom from time.

I have this freedom and experience it everyday. I am so grateful for it. I am grateful for the opportunities and experiences I have had and will continue to have. I am grateful to live in a world that begs to be explored.

It is within this regained freedom I have grown to understand there is an even greater freedom.

A freedom that I had never lost, but that I never fully realized I had.

The freedom from the demons that haunt me. The freedom to choose how I react.  The freedom to create.  The freedom to think. The freedom to love and forgive.  The freedom to let go.  Freedom from the past and regret. Two sides of the same coin.  Freedom from the future and the anxiety that is inextricably a part of what will happen next. The freedom from fear.The freedom to think beyond how I normally think. The freedom to write, paint, create and think in multiple dimensions.

Nobody can take that away from me. And nobody can give it to me either.

Freedom as I defined it in prison was reliant on time. The passing of seconds, minutes, hours and days. Freedom as I knew it could not be rushed. It could be deceived by following a routine, mini accomplishments throughout the day to signify the passing of time. But the seconds still ticked at the same pace. I was a captive of time.

Freedom as I see it now is reliant on me and directly proportional to the amount of work I put into it.  A journey into myself, one that must be honest and authentic. And with no expectation of a particular outcome.

I hold the key to this freedom.

I made the mistake of looking for the key in the pages I’ve read.  The subjects I study. Looking for that one word or practice that will let me cross over.  I seek the silver bullet that will take care of it all. The magic pill.

It does not work this way. The key is not found within the pages of books. It is not something to look for. It is something that is forged. Deep within.It is forged as the aggregate of every moment that has brought me to the most important moment. This moment. And then the next, and then the next.  It is hard work. And it is part of the journey.

This is for me to work on. However small the steps. Day after day.

Now that I am out of prison I am truly working on being free.


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