When I was young my aunt told me that freedom is a state of mind.
I was staying with her on her farm and we were walking back from feeding the chickens. She was lugging a heavy bag of chicken-feed. She stopped, sighed, wiped her brow, looked me in the eye and said, “Freedom is a state of mind, Belinda, not a state of being.”
I was unsure what had prompted this philosophical outburst from my aunt. Perhaps I had been complaining about school or my parents. Or one of my siblings. I don’t remember.
But what I do remember clearly were these words. And that I was surprised they were coming from her because I found her disempowered.
My aunt was a slave to life. She was a slave to her husband, to her family, to her life as a farmer’s wife and to her (and her husband’s) deeply conservative views.
I remember coming home one day to find her crying at the kitchen sink. It was lambing season and she had many bottles every day to wash, sterilise and fill with milk. She was shaking and weeping as she was cleaning out the bottles. I asked her what was wrong and she told me she was exhausted.
“I’m so exhausted. I can’t cope. I never wanted to work on a farm and be a farmer’s wife… I’m not this type of person. Really, I’m not. But how did I get here? Why am I doing this? This isn’t what I wanted.”
My aunt then confided in me that when my uncle dies she won’t get anything. She isn’t in the will. The farm will be left to their children and she doesn’t know where she’ll live, or how she’ll cope.
I was shocked.
But I was even more shocked because my aunt had ‘let her guard down.’ She’d shown me herself behind the masks she wore; she’d shown me the fragile and disempowered women behind the facade of the upstanding citizen and proud farmer’s wife.
My aunt was stoic in her views and often abrasive. She was only sometimes soft and kind, and rarely ‘real.’ (Although when she was kind, she was deeply kind and empathetic).
She didn’t understand my sensitive nature, my psychic abilities and the difficulties I was having at home. She also didn’t understand that although I loved her and wanted to embrace the philosophies she gave me, I was genuinely confused by it.
Because my aunt lived the opposite of the life she preached about and claimed to have.
The energy-field of my aunt was one of a slave. Although she claimed to be liberated and upstanding. I couldn’t reconcile her obvious hypocrisy, and back then I was angry and confused by her.
Nowadays I see it differently.
She was doing her best to be free amongst the limitations of her life
Now that I’m a mother, a wife, a business owner and woman in this modern (and crazy, fast-paced) world, I have much more empathy for my aunt.
She was trying to find the ‘state of mind’ of freedom amongst the lack of freedom (and choice) in her life.
When she was boasting, telling me how happy she was and how fortunate she is to be a ‘good citizen’ and not have all those ‘problems’ and ‘issues’ other people have, she was simply trying to feel better about her own lack of choice.
When she was philosophising and telling me how one should live their life; how one can find freedom and joy and happiness, she was trying to help me make better choices. One more aligned with freedom.
Yes, my aunt hid behind masks. And yes, she pretended to be someone else; someone better and more free and happy and liberated. But in her heart she wanted me – as well as all other women – to chose freedom as a state of mind so that it can bring us freedom in our lives.
She wanted me to chose differently.
She would have never admitted that to anyone. (Probably not even to herself). But she wanted me to choose differently.
Choose a life where there isn’t a choice between freedom being a ‘state of mind’ or a ‘state of being’.
Freedom being both.
Us modern-day women often take it for granted that we have choice
We forget that many women have gone before us that have paved our path to freedom.
We forget that many women fought and also died to give us our freedom. To give us the choice to live freedom as a state of being.
And not only as a state of mind.
Today I implore you to think of the women of the past (and present) that have fought for you and those that are still fighting for you…. That are fighting for your rights to be treated as an equal citizen.
In your mind’s eye, see the souls of the women – both living and dead – who have paved your path to freedom and thank them.
Thank them from the bottom of your heart and with all of the might of your soul. Because it’s because of them that you are now free.
in White Light + Love,Belinda