Someone once asked Nina Simone what freedom means to her. “No fear” is what she said.
That’s powerful. Understand that our conditioning and socialization is based off of fear. We fear the consequences of things so we avoid doing or saying things. We are taught to literally hate certain aspects of others, with an underlying basis of fear. Fear that who or what makes up another person is a threat to us.
This is why people hate people who are gay, black, brown, spiritual, tall, short, homeless, rick, poor, etc.
We’ve been living in fear and some may not know it. Many may not understand it. But the saddest part is, few are doing little to nothing to break away.
There was a time when I lived heavily in fear. Fear of not being accepted. Of failing. At one point I literally feared living. I couldn’t imagine what the next moment could be and I didn’t want to know either.
Yet, here I am. Happy that I was able to somehow work through not only those moment of deep, dark fear, but that period of my life overall.
The other day I was thinking about some of the experiences that have shaped who I am today. I realized that I never really asked permission to be whoever I felt I truly was. I never asked permission to identify as something other than heterosexual, black, Christian, or anything else that’s changed in the last ten years. Don’t get me wrong, the moments in between those changes were….exhausting and scary. Way scary.
Freedom is having no fear and living your life in the most authentic way possible. What makes you happy? What do you want to achieve (because it’s never too late, there are soooo many avenues of achievement so don’t stifle your own growth)?
Figure out what freedoms means to you and start making the necessary changes to live. Be gentle with yourself. Be kind to others. Be the most authentic version of yourself imaginable.
cc: nickolas sundberg