September 6

FREEDOM MONTH: DAY 6: “Your answer is the logical, coherent answer an absolutely normal person would give: It’s a tie! A lunatic, however, would say that what I have around my neck is a ridiculous, useless bit of colored cloth tied in a very complicated way, which makes it harder to get air into your lungs and difficult to turn your neck. I have to be careful when I’m anywhere near a fan, or I could be strangled by this bit of cloth.

If a lunatic were to ask me what this tie is for, I would have to say, absolutely nothing. It’s not even purely decorative, since nowadays it’s become a symbol of slavery, power, aloofness. The only really useful function a tie serves is the sense of relief when you get home and take it off; you feel as if you’ve freed yourself from something, though quite what you don’t know.” ― Paulo Coelho

We are slaves to so many societal standards of behavior and dress and custom. Isn’t it funny, when you read this, how something so simple as a tie can be described so beautifully in terms we never consider?

Women wear bras and shoes and clothing that hurts them. Many years, ago, they wore corsets that caused them to faint because they could get no air into their lungs.

Today, most people in our culture do not know how to breathe properly. If you watch just about anyone breathing, they are panting into their chest, like a dog. That is not proper. We are supposed to inhale through our noses, not our mouths, first of all. I know only a couple of people, out of all those whom I have met who know how to breathe well.

And we are supposed to breathe into our bellies. This is our normal, healthy way of getting air and oxygen into our bloodstreams and into our vital organs, not just into our lungs. Babies are born breathing into their bellies. Even dogs, who pant a lot, breathe into their bellies. It is natural, but we learn how to pant very soon after we begin our “indoctrination” into this culture. And every time we breathe through our mouths and not our noses, we are panting and filling only our lungs, which is the way to produce enormous amounts of cortisol. No wonder we die of stress-related diseases all the time! Oh!

So, we also wear clothing and shoes that hurt, use makeup to enhance our appearance, apply nail polish and hair dye and get enormous amounts of surgical interventions done to stay youthful instead of accepting and embracing our aging process. None of this is freedom!

We are slaves to this shit. And we don’t even question the values that create it. I watched a powerful movie the other night called “Captain Fantastic.” Very interesting and informative. I remember wanting to live as the family in the movie does. And I am not all there, but I do see the beauty of the thinking that created their lifestyle. I embrace THAT totally.

My desire is to become free enough to be able to live totally in that world, and not so much in the world that is around me. It makes me sad to see what people will do to own a pair of designer tennis shoes or to look like someone they find beautiful. That there are so many other ways in which we are enslaved and crippled by social norms we don’t even question or seem to care to evaluate for ourselves. What if we stopped allowing them to dictate our lives and our money and our freedom? I see all these things as causation for addiction. All of them.

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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