As so many of us do on this day, America’s 4th of July, I have been pondering the meaning of freedom. While clearing my desk this morning I came across the passage below that was shared with me some time ago by one of my teachers and mentors, Joan Goldsmith.
It provoked the thought that perhaps one dimension of freedom is simply the belief that anything is possible. For if we believe our past is the ultimate predictor of our future then aren’t we trapped by what has been, rather than free to explore and create what could be?
Today I celebrate the possibility of freedom. I am reminded to cherish the good fortune to live in a country that provides so many freedoms to us as individuals. For so many people in the past, the present and the future, freedom is the ultimate possibility.
Yet for those of us who today live in a remarkably free society, perhaps there is another kind of freedom that can only be realized if we believe anything is possible – the freedom to follow our dreams. The thing about this kind of freedom though is that it cannot be won from or granted by anyone except the person you see when you look in the mirror.
“The difference between me and most people is that most people look at their lives as if they’re on a train and they’re sitting in the caboose. They watch the tracks sweep out behind them, and they’re disappointed.
But they adjust. And they know exactly what will happen next because of what’s happened before. They believe their future will be just like their past — the same box of disappointments, the same box of pleasures.
But me, I look at my life as though I’m sitting in the locomotive. Ahead of me the landscape disappears into the distance. I don’t know where I’m going, and I have no idea what’s going to happen next.
No matter what went on yesterday, I know that today anything can happen. That’s what keeps me happy. That’s what keeps me alive… You have to listen to the quiet callings of the heart.
Ambition: it’s the enemy of intuition. You have to be silent. You have to listen to the quiet callings of the heart and know that anything can happen.”
So what about you – are you freely following your dreams?
If you are, good for you! And if you are not, perhaps it is time for a personal declaration of independence from your past and a leap of faith into the future you desire.
Happy 4th of July!!