Fine, Choice and Freedom are REALLY Important
A while ago I talked about choice and freedom, calling them “somewhat important”. Now, I figured you might know that I understate things, so if I say that something is “somewhat” important, then I fully expect some of you to tattoo that message somewhere on your body. But, perhaps because you didn’t, it gives me an opportunity to talk about these two funny words.
Recently, I was talking to a client of mine that you would know by the alias, “Freddle Dolly-Parton McMannohaggonbaum.” Remember him? He was having issues with confidence. At the time, I told him that confidence was a state of being (which I thought was a fairly awesome thing to say).
This time, he came into my apartment/office, and I wasn’t surprised by what he had to say. He’d risen his confidence enough to start dating again, which was great, but now this had created a new problem for him.
“I love my girlfriend,” he said, “but, Dr. Matt, I miss my freedom. I just don’t know if this is going to work.”
I shook my head. “Freddle,” I said, “If you left this girl right now, you would not have any more freedom.”
He looked at me, confused. “What do you mean, Dr. Matt?”
“Let me put it this way,” I said. “You think that if you’re in a relationship like this, then you’re limited in your choices, right?” He nodded, and I continued. “Well that’s plum stupid. You still have all the choice in the world, but you’ve convinced yourself that you don’t and it’s her fault. Or maybe the relationship’s fault. Or maybe any relationship’s fault.”
I was on a roll here, so I kept talking. “Look, Freddle, you could change this relationship if you wanted, or any relationship, or leave it and find a different one, whatever. There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as you know that what you’re doing is re-arranging the furniture in order to get a different perspective of the room. But you have to allow yourself choice. You have to allow yourself freedom.”
Mr. Dolly-Parton McMannohaggonbaum frowned. “But how do I do that?”
“Freedom,” I said, “is a state of being.” Now, folks, I know I said that about confidence as well, but well heck, it’s true for a lot of things. I continued. “Freedom is knowing in every moment that you have choice, and it’s allowing yourself to fully live in that moment, to be open and vulnerable with whomever you choose to be with, most importantly: yourself. If you are with your girlfriend and you don’t know that you have freedom, that you have choice, then why the heck would you know it any better if she wasn’t around?”
“So, I should stay?” he said timidly.
“Stay, go, it doesn’t matter, Freddle. This is about you. Your problem is that you’re always worried about what to do. The important question is: ‘Who do you want to be?’ ”
The timer dinged and my time with Freddle Dolly-Parton McMannohaggonbaum was up. I was actually a little disappointed because I was enjoying the momentum I was on, but I had no choice but to end the session. I mean, my clients expect timeliness of me, after all.
Anyway, it really got me thinking again about choice and freedom. They’re not just somewhat important; I think they might be of utmost importance. Now, hurry up and get that tattoo.
Just My Thoughts,