Love Letters to the Universe #25: Freedom to Be

3 May

Dear Universe,

Who am I? This is the question I ask myself every day. I am a father, a husband, a teacher, a writer, a son, a citizen, a philosopher, and so many other things. Lately I have been a correspondent with you, oh great and powerful wholeness. You would think that this would be enough, but it does not feel like it is.

I believe it is vastly appropriate that I feel this way. I believe that I was conceived, grown and nurtured to ask this very question.

Earlier in our correspondence, I posited that my fellow hairless monkeys and I were created from your self-indulgent desire to experience yourself. I also posited that we have free will, the freedom to choose, and by doing so partake in the ongoing creation that is you, my lovely.

Perhaps, and I am only speaking from my limited experience and addled hairless monkey brain, that this indicates that you want to know who you are. We came from you and open our eyes and witnessed your wonders, your innate beauty and suffering.

How can I decide what you are, when I cannot even know myself? How can I know myself, without understanding what you are, the thing that we have come from? Must I not spend my entire existence in this search?

Yes, of course, it is why I am here. The search itself is beautiful, for as I see suffering, I name it as such, and I answer it with the full longing of my heart with love. Why do I do this?

It is often said: “If you love something, you must set it free.” You have set us free by giving us free will. You love us. Love is liberation. Love does not confine, enslave; it empowers.

When I do not know myself, and how I have come from this loving thing, when I do not understand this freedom of choice that I have been given, then I am filled with doubt. That doubt is fear, and it is like a raging hole inside of me. I try to fill it with drugs, with pleasure, with distraction, and with the greatest of these distractions: power. I, the hairless monkey, worried that I am not good enough will try to provoke some form of suffering in my fellow monkeys. It is how I know I have power.

We do this to those we claim to love most passionately. We torment them with accusations and mind games until they weep and beg us to stop. Inwardly we give a craven smile and think: “Oh, yes, I am powerful, see how I made them suffer!”

But, look at this groaning and poisoned world that we have made! See the injustice walking down the street  arm in arm with arrogant pride.

What if we just let others be as they would be? What if we gave them the freedom to exercise that choice that they were born innately to make? If I did this, would not my presence without pretension or expectation prove liberating to my fellow monkey? Would not they flock to me knowing that they are free from suffering in my presence?

Would this not be love?

Would my fellow monkeys, emboldened by that bit of freedom, prove brave and turn to their fellow monkeys and give the same chance of liberation? Would the world, would not you, the universe, then know what you were?

When I was a child, I was raised in a thought meme called religion that told me that we were born corrupted, evil and stained. We are taught to think that we are not worthy. We are taught shame of ourselves.

What if we aren’t? What if we are truly free to choose? Would we choose wisely? Would we nail to a tree anyone who tried to show us the secret of liberation? Would we take his or her words and twist them into another game of power?

Perhaps, but then each moment, I feel the love coming from you in an instant. That love is freedom, freedom to choose the right choice. Freedom to be loving to myself, to my fellow monkeys, freedom then to think that you are love.

It is not an easy path. We are saddled with a responsibility beyond imagining. But, just so, the reward is also beyond imagining. We hold in our souls the power to liberate all things. That power is the one thing that does not require suffering. It liberates us from suffering because it is without regret. Who has regrets for loving completely?

Not me.

Universe, thank you for giving me my freedom. Thank you for loving me so intensely. Forgive me for the times that I have forgotten this gift. I ask all of the hairless monkeys that I have so transgressed in this fashion for forgiveness, as I forgive them. Forgiveness is just another act of liberation.

It doesn’t matter who you love. It doesn’t matter where you come from, what the color of your skin, or the nature of your circumstances. We all have a choice. We are all loved that much.

May we never forget. May we spend our (hopefully) long lives remembering, and by remembering, liberating, and by liberating, loving each other.

And by loving each other, returning that sacred gift, and loving you.

Continuing this quest with love in my heart,

Trav

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