Caged birds

Yesterday was International Woman’s day which got me thinking about what it means to be free and independent. I’ve always been an independent woman, not really one to rely on anyone else. In spite of that I still managed to compromise my personal freedom for my marriage. Now being single again, I have learnt to value my freedom too much to be able to give that up again.

What does Freedom Mean to Me?

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To me freedom is being able to go where I want when I want. It’s about being free to make my own decisions without having to consider someone else. It’s about mixing with the people I like and not having to compromise friendships for the sake of being a couple.

Having the freedom to think my own thoughts and have my own opinions without thinking how they may cause friction in the relationship. Of course I am speaking from my experience and  fully accept that healthy relationships do not require so much compromise.

Brighton Seafront - Saturday Morning

Brighton Seafront – Saturday Morning

I prefer dangerous freedom to peaceful slavery 

Why Do We Give Up Our Freedom For the Sake of a relationship?

In a healthy relationship people keep their own identity and there is still room for the individual to be who they are at the core, without having to give up so much of themselves. Unfortunately many relationships develop into needy attachment making it difficult to separate who you are as an individual. We give up our freedom of thought and freedom to be who we are to maintain what we think is a worthy relationship.

In fact a really happy relationship consists of two people who are comfortable in their own skin and who somehow are able to respect each others uniqueness.

Society has us believe that to be in a happy relationship we must do everything together, like the same things, have the same friends and be “one”. In reality that is suffocating and in the long run causes unhealthy attachment.

And it is this attachment that keeps us in a state of fear of ending unhealthy relationships.It is no longer about love, respect or even friendship and much more to do with staying in a make believe comfort zone because we can not conceive life outside this relationship.

Looking back on my own journey, the pain was caused mainly by my attachment to the relationship not the person. Now I see how life is so much more fulfilling when you are free to just be who you are, totally free to live life as best you can on your own terms.

Does that mean I no longer believe in loving relationships? Of course not, we are humans who thrive in healthy loving relationships. But not at the expense of losing yourself and losing your freedom.

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Remember that the best relationship is the one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other – Dalai Lama