Faith = Freedom

She lay still listening to the instructions. Allow the power of healing within to take the form of a symbol or image. She witnessed arms wide and reaching outward. She heard the words of the song, Freedom, “I don’t belong to you and you don’t belong to me. Freedom… Freedom… Freedom…”

Images of the singers, smiling, connection, love…

“I put my faith in the sound, it’s the one good thing that I’ve got.”

Faith. Her mind swirled back through time. First meditation… the word swam through her minds eye. Sitting in the hard chair at the Himalayan Institute. Beautiful and powerful women circling an open space. Sue, the facilitator explaining, “sometimes your purpose or dharma can be expressed in one word.” Her dharma… faith. To believe in the possibilities.

She felt surrounded by unconnected ideas, images. Tiny threads reaching toward these separate idea and yet there is a sense they are interwoven. The year of Covid, the losses through death and through growth, the stuckness in a pandemic. Waiting. The Outlander series and the ongoing suffering, warring, disharmony and love, joy. Passion. Her unanswered question… what is the point of it all. NPR Ted radio hour podcast and a commentary on things don’t happen for a reason. Gaslighting.

The threads slowly being woven together… life is all about expressing faith… faith — “assent of the mind to the truth of a statement (or idea) for which there is incomplete evidence.” Not God or Goddess, but the truth for ones own heart. Incomplete evidence that there is a purpose to life, to the suffering in life. And to the joy.

She recalled the divorce born from dishonesty, infidelity and the pain of loss. “I don’t belong to you and you don’t belong to me.” The feeling of having lost a love. But was that true if one does not belong to another? No. She recognized the loss really was of the future that will no longer unfold. Now her son a college student, another loss. A year of separation and no end in sight. No it is the loss of the relationship they had, exchanged for a new future relationship, yet to unfold.

“I don’t belong to you and you don’t belong to me.” Every child eventually sings this verse to a parent or partner. We all long for the freedom to grow into our own truth, future possibility.

And yet the solution is not dispassion either. Climbing a pursuit of no consequence in the grand scheme of life and yet a pursuit that fills the hearts of so many. The drama of being denied the ascent. The resilience to continue to try over and over. “No one will remember who did the first ascent or second. But you will always remember what you walked away from.” It is not the ascent that challenges the climber. It is his/her/their own faith in the possibility.

We want to believe in a better, bigger, more possibility. We want to have faith. We even create circumstance to test our own faith. It is the drama of every day life that gets us up out of bed to fight another day. To challenge our own ideas of what is possible. A toddler is not content to just crawl or toddle along. The toddler learns to run, to jump… Nor are adults content to just retire. We strive for more. And we want freedom.

In this pandemic world of more restrictions and less interaction, for some, all of our preferred ways to expand are being challenged. We are forced to expand into closure, isolation and patience. Or new ways of engaging with the world, through technology, curb side pick up and masks. Our ability to just wait being tested in every moment. Our sense of freedom, feels of loss of the possibilities we saw for ourselves are being tested moment by moment.

To be free is to open to what is possible, surrender to ones circumstances and to persist. Remember, the land of the free did not come to the settlers with ease. It came with clearing land, pioneering across rough terrain with no pathways or roads, the hard work of building a new world. So too, our freedom in a pandemic is to let go of what we have known, embrace where we are and move forward with skilled effort.

It is like those moments sitting at the base of the climb. All of the preparation having been done. All the moves rehearsed. The sequence memorized and visualized. The day of rest taken and all the rituals complete. The body ready. Now was the time to face the challenge and complete the route. Just breathe. Be patient. Most importantly, let go of all the falls in the past. Let go of the routine of working the route. Remember to be open to what happens. To try and yet, not force. Just like on a yoga mat… to be with the breath in the pose and not force, but to allow the expression of the pose to exist.

Faith then is essential in order to allow the circumstances to be and simply breathe, not force. Full circle. And faith is the birthplace of freedom.

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