There is something I have learned in this life, if you want freedom for yourself you have to take it yourself. If you want time off from work you have to take time off from work. I tend to over extend myself when it comes to working. I offer to help out others, I work at my wife’s business, my photography business, right now I’m remodeling a friend’s home and am typing this now because I decided to stop working earlier than usual. I needed this break.
Over the last few months there is something I have been doing that has really been giving me perspective. I have been slowly planning my escape. My escape from the things in life I just do not enjoy. This may seem like not a big deal to many people, but to me it has opened up an exploration of myself that I don’t think I have ever done before.
It has made me conflicted in many ways because there are things that I truly thought didn’t bother me, but once I started removing the obvious negativity out of my life I dug a little deeper and found more where I didn’t think I would. But here is the thing that I didn’t think would happen, or didn’t know would happen would be a better way of describing this.
Years ago I decided to only allow in the positive of things. This worked wonders, but there are still things in life that bring you down. It happens, that what life is, a series of ups and downs and whirlwinds of stuff you never see coming. So I asked myself, what don’t I like about these situations? How can I remove this negative energy? And that is when it hit me. Energy is matter, it does take up space, so if you take some out you have to put more of something in. I will be the first one to say that the easy answer is “fill it up with more positive energy” but it is not as easy as that! I wish it were that simple.
To be able to fill the voids with positive energy you need to know what makes it positive. You need to dig deeper because what you think is positive on the surface may end up in fact become negative because you didn’t think it through all the way.
I am someone who needs certain freedoms in life. I need the freedom to pursue my art, to play with my guitars and my camera gear and to spend time at the beach or just on a quick retreat somewhere in the desert. But here is something I needed to consider. I have a wife who likes having me around and we have a blast together. So instead of just telling her I need this, which could have made her feel left out, I just asked her what she would think of me taking these little breaks from life? How would you feel if I did these projects I’m working on? Do you think it is a good idea for me to start recording music again? She had questions, but she also encouraged me to explore these ideas and knows that I am a creative person and require a certain amount of space sometimes. She is a creative too so that part she gets better than some.
So what happened is that I took away all of this negative energy and let my wife help me fill up the void with positive energy. Now here is the tricky part. I have had friends say “but Jim, my wife won’t let me do that” or something like that. First I have to say this. Stop treating your wife like your mother. She is your partner and neither one of you is in control of the other. You married someone because you trust them, you love them and you support each other. If you can’t tell your spouse what it is you want to do in life how do you expect to ever actually do it? Think about this for a minute. If you’re afraid to tell the person you are closest to, maybe you are actually afraid to tell yourself?
This is where I get back to taking freedom for yourself. We all have desires, we all have wants. But we need to really look into ourselves and ask ourselves, is this what I really want? Or is this just to pacify me for now until I gather up the courage to go after what it is I really want?
Life is short people. Life moves very quickly and pretty soon you may end up asking yourself why you never did what it was you wanted to do. Find what you love and do it. Fear is only something we have in our heads that tells us we cannot do something. Take this freedom back, talk to those close to you and if they tell you no ask them why? But when you ask them, actually listen to the answer, they may have their own fears and doubts. Remember, you are as close to them as they are to you. To get respect and trust you must show respect and trust.
My whole point in this is that you need to be truthful with yourself. Ask yourself why you want what it is you want and why does it make you happy? This is why I like my freedom. I am allowed to dig down deep into my own thoughts and figure out why I want what I want and what it is I truly want.
I go out on photo shoots and I end up wanting to be closer with my wife. I spend days away from everyone only to want to know more about them when I return. When it comes down to it, I am really just putting together the pieces of living a happy life. Every day is a step in the right direction. I may not get to where I want to be immediately but I will get there eventually. And I will enjoy the journey, every single step of the way!
And to quote Kris Kristofferson and in the voice of Janis Joplin, “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.” Take the plunge and dive into your own thoughts, you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain!