September 14

FREEDOM MONTH: DAY 14: “The aim of life is no more to control the mind, but to develop it harmoniously; not to achieve salvation here after, but to make the best use of it here below; and not to realize truth, beauty and good only in contemplation, but also in the actual experience of daily life…”- Bhagat Singh’s prison diary

This quote is a new one this year, on the topic of freedom. I love this quote because I love that he understands the concept of freedom from a deeper, more spiritual place.

As most of you know, I am involved with a great number of people who are either incarcerated or have been, many of them are lifers. I once went into a prison panel at CRC with a man who was a millionaire, a partner of some kind with Ted Turner. He spoke from the podium to these men about being in the prison of his mind.

While I appreciated, on a spiritual level, his take on that, most of the inmates booed him. I get it. Freedom is a concept. It is not real, but has many properties to it that are perceptual. That man was wrong to speak about his prison of addiction to those men. They can’t hear the message that we are there to carry when you try to relate to them, and you are walking out the gate at the end of the meeting.

I know a lot of people who believe they are “free” of certain situations when they can physically walk away from them. There is no such thing. I may get out of prison physically, but until I am completely free of the mind that believes that prison was the thing holding me back, I am still a prisoner.

We all have SO many old ideas about what freedom might or might not be. I see it as the freedom to be able to walk away from toxic relationships and people who are not healthy for me. And I have been able to do this in my life for a long time now.

There are so many BS stories we tell ourselves about how when this or that situation changes, it will be different. But the freedom of truly and completely getting honest with ourselves about  the causes and conditions of our unhappiness with life and how we sabotage it are real.

And I love this quote because it also embraces the idea that spiritual freedom is not for the afterlife, but for this one, here and now. Amen!

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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