Have you ever longed for freedom?
Freedom reminds me of this fairly tale of a very poor little girl. She was so poor she could not afford a pair of shoes, but she longed for a red pair. When a rich woman adopted her it was the first thing she asked for. So she wore them every day and everywhere, even slept with it. Then one day while she was wearing them the shoes started dancing of their own accord. At first it was fun, but soon she realised she couldn’t stop. She had no control, and even holding on to a foot to still it, it would keep on dancing in mid-air by itself. Try as she might, she couldn’t pry the shoes off her feet. For miles and miles she danced, and the day became night and the night became day again, until she became so exhausted that she asked a lumberjack to cut off both her feet. And she remained a crippled as long for as she lived.
When we have been deprived of something, we often try and make up for it by going overboard. The girl grew up very poor and had no shoes, and when a rich woman adopted her, instead of just an ordinary, sensible pair of black shoes, she chose – against the rich woman’s orders – the red pair. But with it came the danger. That which was so desirable before, became a curse.
See, “ordinary” and “sensible” is not what we want to do when we have found a new-found freedom. We want to celebrate, go wild, go all out. The girl grew up deprived of life’s pleasures and luxuries, and along with the rich woman came a sense of freedom; she was no longer entrapped in poverty. But at a price. A price so big that she chose to sacrifice her own two feet for it.
This is the pendulum-effect. Life has a way of naturally restoring equilibrium. It moulds us, like a sculptor moulds his clay. People can pull us and circumstances can push us into directions, and life can force us to where we are meant to be, but it remains a constant battle, a shoving and pushing. If we let it flow freely, it becomes easy.
But I know! It’s hard! As a free, empowered woman, I want to “go for it”, not be worried about “going overboard”. I want to push the boundaries, celebrate and not having to deal with consequences!
And that is where we often misinterpret freedom. Freedom is not about having no boundaries or rules or limitations. Neither is it being free of responsibility…in fact with freedom comes more responsibility; no one or nothing to blame for anything!
We need to know what those boundaries are and what the purpose of those boundaries are. Some boundaries may be necessary – to interact with others, to understand, to get things done. Some boundaries may be placed upon us by others (or we might perceive it as such), like social do’s and don’ts, or others’ limiting beliefs. These may not always have a place, and if they don’t throw them out. But by far the most dangerous ones are the ones you place upon yourself;.those undeserving, unnecessary untruths.! If they’re outdated, false, or limiting your potential, throw them out! Let life flow freely and restore your own pendulum.
And then get those red shoes!
About the author: Celeste Du Toit is a transformational Life Coach, NLP practitioner, and speaker. She is passionate about working with people who dare to dream or think out of the box, and who long for “something more”.
She works individually or with groups, runs regular workshops and delivers inspirational speaking engagements.