Finding Psychological Freedom

Finding Psychological Freedom

This is the time of year when there is a spiritual energy in the universe that allows us to access freedom more easily.

​Most people believe they are imprisoned by their behaviors, their personalities, their environment, their past. We may believe we only act the way we do because of how others treat us, what happened to us in our lives or because we can’t control ourselves.
We are innocently imprisoned by our minds, yet we mistakenly look out at life to control or change our feelings.

We may try to change our spouse or our children, our spending or eating habits. We may avoid making decisions or making mistakes in order to avoid feeling uncomfortable.

We may even have a glimpse of the fact that our thinking has a role to play in our feeling state, so we try to control or change our thoughts. We believe we obsess too much, stress too much, take life too seriously or think negatively all the time, and if we stopped doing these things then we would feel better.
However blaming “life” for how we feel right now is looking in a misguided direction.

We weren’t created to experience life from the outside-in. It doesn’t work that way. If we want to break free, we need to understand that life is experienced from the inside-out.

The only way a human being can experience life–whether joy, frustration, gratitude, insecurity, pain, suffering, freedom–is via Thought in the moment.

There is an intelligent Divine energy behind life that is working through us moment to moment. Just as this Divine energy allows breath to flow through us and blood to flow through us, it allows thought to flow through us.

Just as the breath of life takes a physical form through the feeling of our diaphragm expanding and contracting and blood takes a physical form through the feeling of our heart pumping, so too, thought takes a physical form through the feelings and sensations in our bodies.

As energy flows through us via Thought,we get a full-blown, five-senses experience in the moment. Hence why feelings are just thought in another form.
Our ability to sense life comes from within us. We were not created to be able to have an experience any other way.

It is not possible for something outside of us to create an internal experience. If you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. If something outside of us really had the power to control us, it would mean that G-d created us from inception as victims of our circumstances.

When we realize that our experience of life is created internally via Thought, living in blame and resentment becomes like drinking poison that we mixed and expecting the other guy to die. Crazy, no?
Although it does feel like [fill in the blank]: your insult hurt me, my past ruined my life, my fear is holding me back, my student/child/boss is driving me crazy, your poor behavior is making me angry…, it doesn’t work that way.
The only way a person can feel hurt, ruined, held back, crazy or angry is if they are thinking hurt, ruined, held back, crazy or angry thoughts in the moment.

We have loads of thoughts about our situations in life, and those thoughts are what we feel moment to moment.

We even have thoughts about our thoughts. We think everything is a problem, it shouldn’t be this way, it’s not fair. Then we judge ourselves for thinking that way, or expect ourselves to be different, piling thought on top of thought.

We are duped into believing the cause of our upset is the thing we are thinking about. In truth, our upset comes directly from the thinking we have about the thing we think is a problem. As our relationship to our thinking shifts, real freedom is attained.

​Understanding the nature of thought allows for a shift to occur.

We are not our thinking, although many of us identify strongly with it.

Thinking is something we do, not who we are.

Thought is the conduit through which we experience life.

Most people get tricked by the content of the thinking that flows through their mind, lost in it. We don’t even realize that the majority of the content is ego: personal and all about me. We inadvertently take the compelling and urgent feelings this thinking brings seriously, identify with it and then get tricked into blaming something or someone else for our feelings.
Although we don’t have control over the thoughts that come into our mind, we have the free choice to identify with them or not when we see them for what they are.

Freedom comes when we insightfully see that deeper than all of our personal thinking (expectations, judgments, insecurities, fears, anxieties, etc.), is the essence of a human being: a soul that is constantly revealing wisdom to us via insight.

This Divine wisdom helps us navigate life, heals our pain and provides the freedom we are looking for. We weren’t left alone to have to figure it all out. Our egos (although looming large) don’t have that much power. In fact, our egos don’t have any power, but for our impression that they do, given to us by the design of our Creator in order for us to have free will.
What if freedom is choosing to let G-d guide us insightfully rather than believing it is all up to us to figure everything out?

We may intellectually know G-d runs the world, but do we live with it moment to moment?

True freedom is seeing where our experience of life is coming from (inside-out rather than outside-in) and in so doing, allowing the burden of illusory thought to dissipate so that our true essence shines through.

Similar to the clouds that appear to be blocking the sun, once they dissipate, the sun shines through.
By understanding where our psychological chains come from, we break free of them. We don’t have to continue to be victims to others, our past or our thinking anymore.

We can be free to live, make mistakes, make decisions and feel our feelings, all the while knowing G-d’s got our back.

Ride The Wave

By Aviva Barnett, MSW

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