At least five or six interactions this week have highlighted for me the fact that we don’t just get over stuff. If we want to be free of anger, of anxiety, of insecurity we need to actively work on letting it go.
And yet, at the same time just working on it ourselves is not sufficient. Real interior freedom is, in my experience, a grace. Something I can put myself in the way of, but not something I can achieve on my own.
The work isn’t particularly easy and can take one to surprising places but I have found it well worth doing. In committing to doing the work, the grace eventually emerges. The real joy of finding interior freedom has been tremendous.
Nonetheless, it is the work of a lifetime. As we grow and develop we almost always find new stumbling blocks.
I guess the question I have been pondering is why some people appear happy to embrace the stumbling block. Obviously, they don’t put it in quite those terms, but they appear to be happy to derive their identity through these issues.
It may be that they hold on to anger from something which has long since passed. It may be that they choose to identify as the ‘generous’ one, whilst allowing themselves to be walked over. It may be that they allow a particular negative interaction to shrink their world.
It is one thing, if you are not aware of your stumbling block. It is quite another to be aware of a strong emotional reaction to a situation and to simply accept that that is the way things are.
I wonder how often we try to control the wrong things in our lives. The only real control I seem to have is the choice to monitor my responses. If they are overly strong, it is usually an indication that I have an issue which needs to be examined.
If we can just dare to deal with the strong emotional responses we have, then interior freedom is possible.