We all need freedom, but not all of us feel free.
Sometimes, social demands do not allow full expression of our naturalness and so we have to pretend.
If you are in this situation I want you to know that there is a way for you to start feeling that longed-for freedom.
What do you have to do?
The first thing is to know how to distinguish the things that depend on you from those that don’t.
Let’s make it clear: Our opinions, our desires, our inclinations, in a word, all our actions depend on us.
The other things do not depend on us: the body, the goods, the reputation, the honor. In a word, everything that is not our own action.
For example, you cannot tell your body: don’t get sick, don’t get old. And the same goes for possessions: today you can have, tomorrow you cannot.
And what about reputation or social position?
Today you can be acclaimed and tomorrow you can be denigrated.
The things that depend on us are by nature free.
Those things that do not depend on us are weak, slaves, dependent, subject to a thousand obstacles and inconveniences, and entirely alien.
If you believe that you are free, to the things that by nature are slaves, and your own, to the things that depend on others and circumstances; you will find obstacles at every step, you will be afflicted, upset and tempted to look for guilt.
On the other hand, if you have, to what belongs to you, as your own and, to what belongs to others, as someone else’s; never, no one, will force you to do what you do not want, nor will they prevent you from doing what you want.
I will illustrate what I have just said:
Some time ago I found myself, together with a friend, in a situation that was harshly criticized by him.
It turns out that we were walking and as we passed by a person I greeted him warmly.
And what did I get in response?
A marked gesture of contempt.
Then my friend lashed out at me, criticizing how I could greet someone who didn’t belong to me, and I kept smiling as usual.
I told my friend that the greeting I had just given that person was my own and that that person could do as he pleased with his own.
If you go through life expecting to be rewarded for what you do, I assure you that you can have a very bad time.
Your love, your greeting, your joy, your happiness are yours, no one can take them away if you do not allow it. They depend only on you.
Always give them without expecting anything in return. Do not you see that is the only way to be free of circumstances and people?
Let me finish this story:
Not all of us feel free. The Rose Tale
A rose dreamt day and night of the company of bees, but none came to rest on its petals.
And that dream allowed it to resist the loneliness of the nights and to open up again the next day in the sunlight.
One night, knowing the solitude of the rose, the moon asked her:
– “Aren’t you afraid to be alone and to keep waiting, opening up day after day?”
– “Maybe he answered the rose-but I have to keep doing it.”
– “Why?” asked the moon.
– “Because if I don’t open up, I’ll wither away,” replied the rose calmly.
Therefore, do not let anyone, or anything wither inside you, continue to open yourself to life every day.