Authentic freedom is found within situations. The constraints and limitations imposing on us get valued for providing the context to experience freedom. Too much freedom loses the sense of being free because there's no contrast to the create the experience. White shapes on a white background is illegible. White on non-white is recognizable and much appreciated.
Pseudo freedom is sought after by escaping from situations. Acts of defiance, rebellion, or retaliation offer an empty promise of freedom. Constraints and limitations appear obviously oppressive, confining and useless. There's no sense of a need for context and contrasting background. The need for freedom is urgent, desperate and senseless. There's no meaning for the freedom, only the pursuit of it for it's own sake. There's no escape after all. We remain haunted by what we we're avoiding, opposing or defying.
Authentic freedom is rich with significance. It means so much to us because the freedom ties into our uniqueness. We are free to be ourselves, to live our chosen lives, and to express our inner truths. The freedom we find is very telling about us. It's obvious in what we really care about deeply, commit to easily and create things on this basis.
Pseudo freedom is devoid of significance. It's pursued for cheap thrills, a change in moods, or a break from endurance contests. It breaks up the monotony, struggles or burdensome obligations. We're only as free as a dog on a leash, getting taken for a walk, where someone can always "pull our chain". We're not our own person or living the life we were meant to be exploring.
Authentic freedom is a free gift found within. It's a package deal to be opened when we're ready for more meaning in our lives. It comes with the body, mind, family of origin and personal history. Nothing of what you got needs to change. All it takes is a accepting the gift and doing something personally significant with it.
Pseudo freedom is hard earned. It usually takes big bucks to buy freedom from a system of oppression. It involves drawn out struggles and endless sacrifices. Yet we're still the same person in the same old meaningless life. There's no change of in the significance of what happens or tie-ins to our uniqueness. We do what's expected and rely on external structure to keep us in line. When we discover we've bought into pseudo freedom, we feel ripped off. We realize we fell for the shoddy bill of goods because the world made it easy to not look within past our irrational urges and negative emotions.
With this distinction in mind (between authentic and pseudo freedom), you can begin to:
- catch yourself falling for the bait to settle for fake freedom
- find meaning in your frustrations from escapes that don't really feel like freedom
- appreciate authentic freedom when you either find it or create experiences of it
- recognize patterns of devotion to pseudo freedom that call for a change of identity