I feel most free when… (Happy National Writing Day)


I feel most free when I’m lying on a beach, in the sun (not too warm), with a book, and a bottle of iced water, turning page after page after page, with no thought for what might be happening around me, because the world I’m in is contained within the font on the paper, and I’m oblivious to all else.

I feel most free when I have no responsibilities, no-one shouting “Mum!”, no-one needing my attention or height or motor skills to do that which they can’t yet do themselves. I feel free when I can be alone with my thoughts, follow a line of argument, question myself “Why?” and “Is that true?” and “But what if…”

I feel most free at a keyboard, typing away, vaguely aware of what must come out, and then being surprised when a better thought types its way onto the screen. I feel most free when I’m using the gifts God’s given me, doing things which flow easily and bring life to me, things which fill my tank. “His cup overfloweth…” and I feel this when I’m in the place I’m meant to be, feeling right, feeling free.

I feel most free when I’m singing and playing and not caring who’s listening or watching, but just wanting to enjoy a beautiful song in its fullness, in a way that’s impossible just by listening or through a YouTube video.

I feel most free when I’m playing with my kids and there’s no agenda, no list of other Stuff to be done (or at least I’ve trained myself to ignore it). I feel most free when I’m listening to their day, their joys, their frustrations, and really feeling likeĀ this might be it, this might be what closeness feels like.

I feel most free when I’m lying in a hammock, eyes closed, no cares, no worries, no responsibilities. But then again – would I feel free with no responsibilities? Or would I feel trapped by inertia, inaction, less-than-brilliant situations around me, with no ability or desire to affect change.

I feel most free when I am me. No one else. Me. The me I was made to be. The me I am becoming.


Some reflections:

Wow! What a fun challenge. I’ve never done anything like this before, but think I may try and seek out a few more exercises like this. There’s nothing like seven minutes to focus the mind! And who knew I could produce 366 words in that time?! I’ve surprised myself! I did think about the topic briefly earlier on today, but what you’ve just read is largely what came out spontaneously when I timed myself.

I like the line ‘no-one needing my attention or height or motor skills to do that which they can’t yet do themselves’ because there’s a certain wit to it that I usually mull over for longer than I had on this occasion. It’s given me confidence that maybe I can be more spontaneous when I write.

I’m annoyed that I misquoted the Bible! Of course it’s ‘MY cup overfloweth…’ not HIS! But I guess my gut instinct was to communicate that God is filling my cup when I do the things that I was designed to do.

One interpretation of freedom is that it is whatever you don’t have. Note how many of my sentences seem to be about being away from the kids! Some days this seems enviable, and I wish I wasn’t so bogged down with responsibility.

But – and this wasn’t forced – I seem to come to the conclusion that, actually, freedom is doing those things that you were designed to do. There is a certain freedom in living life as you feel you were meant to live it. I like that.

Over to you! When do you feel most free?

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