Today, I discovered the secret to freedom. Let me explain…
Have you ever asked yourself when you’re worried about something, what it is that is actually worrying you? Meaning truly and deeply?
Have you asked yourself what is it that you feel you will have to endure or experience if said thing does or does not happen? Of course, sometimes, like when one is fearing, G-d forbid, a negative diagnosis, this would equate to a painful or seriously concerning set of circumstances. But many times, when we are worrying about something, such as something not going our way, we don’t pause and think, how bad would it actually feel if it happened?
I was having one of these moments today. I was notified about a particular (potential) problem with something I was counting on, and I began worrying and being upset that the outcome would not be in my favor; that the situation would not go the way I’d like it to or had hoped it would. And as a result, I sat their stirring and stewing about it.
But then I decided to try something. I have been working on my positivity lately, so I thought, no, I’m going to be happy right now either way and not worry. So I smiled, in order to cultivate the happiness I was trying to manifest. And you know what? For a moment, it worked. I wasn’t so worried and I found, I could be happy with whatever.
And I realized something. I realized that even if it doesn’t go the way I want, and I choose to still be happy…then what am I worried about?
Many worries, at the end of the day, are fear of potential disappointment. Sometimes we are so worried, that we don’t even realize that what we are actually worried about is worrying (or similar emotions, such as a feeling of general upset).
If however, we are choosing to be happy at every moment, to be positive, then the worry is really nonexistent. If I am happy no matter what, whether it goes my way or not, then what is there to fear?
This is where my Passover insight comes in. In this moment (this brief and fleeting moment) where I truly felt happy and unconcerned about the outcome of my potential problem, I felt so free. I felt like, nothing can hurt me. If I am choosing at every moment to be happy, what can bother me? How can something going wrong be that bad, if even when it does, I am still happy?
This is how I realized that positivity is the ultimate freedom.
As Passover approaches, I’ve been thinking about what I am a slave to. (At the seder, we are all supposed to see as ourselves, as we have also gone out from slavery to freedom. This is why people focus on their personal slavery and their path to freedom, this time of year).
While there is actually more than one answer, the one standing out to me now, is my emotions. And more specifically, a false sense of succumbing to them. In other words, if at any particular moment, any particular situation can generate a negative emotion in me, I am not at all in control of myself or my feelings. I am a slave to my emotions (and to life’s circumstances). If however, no matter the situation, I choose to be positive, to be happy, then I am free.
And on top of that, when we feel positive and happy, we actually feel more free. We feel looser and less constrained. Happiness is liberating.
And this is how I discovered the secret to freedom. It’s positivity. But not just positivity: the choice to be positive. Knowing that you can’t be burdened by the feelings of sadness or anxiety no matter what, that you will choose to be happy and positive steadfastly, is such a release…that it is the ultimate freedom.