Freedom in Relationships

Today, I am thinking about the concept of ‘Freedom’ in relationships. So many are cemented with issues of ownership and control. Ownership so subtly injected by the label of ‘my’ to husband, wife, child  etc, to the control that flows from this. If you are ‘my’ child you will do it my way and so on. When the life chapter arrives where a new commitment is the next potential, do we runaway to be free, or surrender to the enslavement that has been imbued in us as inevitable once we take that next step.

I believe there can be and is ‘freedom’ inside all relationships and all it takes is the awareness of how to claim it for ourselves and give it to the other.

If  I start at the very beginning and embrace the wonderful message from “The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran – very much a favourite of mine – “Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.”  If this is understood and embraced in all it’s profundity then all relationships that flow from us will be imbued with a sense of freedom. Each of us is a unique experience of life and cannot be owned or controlled by another unless we give permission for that to happen. So, if we feel trapped, controlled or  possessed by the other in our relationship, we have given them the idea that we are not the owner of our own lives.

The reaction to this ultimate sense of frustration and suffocation is rebellion and anger, when in truth we can just re-claim ownership of our life and make new decisions from the new place of knowing.

Freedom is our natural state of being. Anything less will invoke anger and manipulation and even violence to gain back the freedom we know to be ours.

The easiest and fastest way to claim and practice freedom is to give it to others…. our children, friends, partners and even parents. In the practice of this giving we experience what it feels like and the result is it softens the fear of claiming it for ourselves. Give this a try and watch with amazement of the outcome.

Freedom is a gift of love, anything less is unloving.

As I stop at this point, there may be many questions or comments you wish to put forward. That’s great, because I am not wanting to give answers, but stimulate questions, as these are the seeds of new ‘choices’ and ‘change’.

Have fun playing with the idea of freedom in any and all of your current relationships. You will be the eventual winner in the endeavour.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tabitha Corser
    Sep 22, 2010 @ 14:13:18

    Pat, you’re an amazing woman! I love how clearly you simplify such complex concepts into really palatable chunks!

    I must say that I remember attending your Mother/Daughter workshop about 8 years ago where you presented The Prophet. It’s words really resonated with me and it’s been something of a mantra to me as a mum – particularly when my children push my buttons … I am a bow. I am a bow. They are the arrow. They have their own thoughts. Wearing brown and blue together is ok! (LOL!).

    As a mother (and a daughter) I believe that by practicing the concept of allowing others freedom (as you wrote about) we ultimately give ourselves the freedom to be only focused on what is truly our business. And by doing so also give freedom to others – particularly our children.

    After all, if they want to wear blue and brown together, and don’t want to brush their hair – so be it! I’ll try to celebrate their greatness to be who and how they are! I wish I could be so brave!

    I look forward to your next installment!
    Lots of love,
    Tabitha x


  2. Siddharth
    Dec 21, 2010 @ 08:17:18

    Freedom is great. But what is this feeling to want to be actually owned by someone? As much as one would like to be free, isn’t there a certain longing to feel to belong more to someone than others or for that matter to yourself? How else can I enjoy the joy of surrender? To let go at times, to break down and to be cared, to be taken in arms and consoled by someone?

    How does one seek balance between this longing and the innate desire for freedom?


    • stresslessrelationships
      Dec 21, 2010 @ 11:14:24

      Thanks for your comments Siddharth. I am seeing how important it is to recognize that we are never alone. When we think we are, we are disconnected from the relationship with ourselves at a core level and this core perception of self is who we bring to the relationships with others. Without this personal connection with ourselves we can still feel very alone in the company of others.


    • stresslessrelationships
      Dec 21, 2010 @ 11:21:16

      The Freedom is to be who I truly am, which is powerful and confident and clear as to my desires and preferences. To need to be consoled by another requires that I deny my power and confidence in myself. I prefer to be held in the arms of my chosen loved ones because they love me, know I am powerful and desire the loving connection shared in Joy rather than sorrow. They are both ok by me. I have found the joyful embrace so much more delicious than the sorrowful one. There is an even greater surrender in surrendering to love.


    • stresslessrelationships
      Dec 21, 2010 @ 11:33:13

      The desire to be loved is often confused with the desire to be owned. None of us truly desire to be owned, or we would all be happy being slaves. That is what being owned is. Think of the long term impact of being owned by another would be.. even someone you think you love?


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