What does it mean to be free? We all have our own definition, based on the conditions our lives are in. For some, it’s being able to sit in your home without the fear of having a military attack destroy your home, for some it’s a battle in your mind, and for others, it’s being able to have a say in your own life’s decisions and path. These matters enslave some of us without us even realizing it. If or when it’s realized, minds go into a state of panic, causing a frantic effort to break free. Every struggle of freedom holds at its core the same goal: to have one’s right to make personal decision made available.

The right to have the final say in everything that you do and pursue in your life is something that is unfortunately a rare thing to see in most parts of the world. How many of us have to tail or our lives and the pursuit of our goals, all to accommodate the people in our lives and their dreams? How many of us pursue the same path drafted out by society for practically everyone of going to school, having a gender-specified hobbies and interests, getting a degree/diploma, working a 9-5 job most likely not in your field of study just to pay off the tens of thousands of dollars in student loans, get married while in severe debt, buy a home on mortgage (increasing your debt), have children (a blessing, but tougher when in debt), grow old hating your job (unless you’re one of the lucky ones), and one day look back and wonder how life passed by so quickly without you even getting the chance to pursue your goals, passions, or challenges? So…that was a dark picture. Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure I just described most of our lives, and sadly left many of us depressed. If I did, I apologize. The reason I did that is because unless we hate hell and everything that leads to it, we won’t know how badly we want heaven. Obviously, I’m speaking metaphorically, but you get what I mean.

It’s important for us to find and form our own identities by taking risks and challenging ourselves outside of our comfort zones. It’s far too easy to fall into the norms and patterns created by society. We must ask ourselves what we want out of life, what we hope to accomplish, and then work towards those things. The path that fits you best might even end up being similar to the norm, but what’s important is that you choose and pursue that path out of your own will and desire, and not out of conformity to any expectations.

There are some people in the world whose freedom isn’t an option for them. Even if they work their hardest, put in all the effort they possibly can, they just can’t seem to acquire their freedom. But, for most of us, freedom is possible. It’s about overcoming our personal barriers, created by our minds to hold us back from doing anything unsafe. That, however, isn’t what’s best for our growth, and instead, prevents us from being the best we can be. Recognize how blessed we are to have the ability to embrace our freedom. It will take hard work and fighting our inner souls at times, but it’s a dream many don’t have the opportunity to fulfill.

Evaluate your life and ask yourself what it is you want to accomplish, and what it is that’s holding you back from getting what you want. If you are unhappy, figure out what the cause is and keep your distance from that, or fix the situation to turn it into a source of happiness. I assure you it will be difficult. I assure you it will be painful. I assure you it will have you questioning yourself and your motives time and time again. But if you push through it all, I assure you that it’ll be completely worth it.