I've always cherished my freedom. Begged for it. Starved myself for it. Moved my life across oceans and countries for it. Survival Priority #1: stay free!
Then yesterday, I saw "freedom" highlighted in a new way: as an excuse. A protection mechanism. A wall.
It's evident in the past, I have put up my wall ("I need my freedom!") in order to disengage. If I ran, I wasn't a part of the family/town/you-name-it. And better yet, if I ran in the name of "work", then I was justified in the family/town/you-name-it. But while I wasn't held accountable for myself or my actions (by running), I felt like I didn't belong.
When I worked full-time as a model, I had freedom. More freedom than I could ever imagine: I was "free" and alone on my birthday in some random city; I was "free" flying across the U.S. -- I wasn't home with family or friends, I was "free!" Later, I found as an actor in show business, freedom is praised and rewarded: "I'm free to work! I'm not married or raising a child or tied down to responsibilities! I'm free to do whatever anyone wants me to do, any time!"
My creativity, my art, and visual journaling won't allow me to do that anymore. I belong. I am a part of a community. I have an authentic voice that is heard. I have a family, a town, my very own 'you-name-it'.
Participating, showing up, being genuinely invested is connection. That's another word. One I'm striving for now.