By now, most of us have seen the horrific images of Afghans trying to flee as the Taliban seize control of Afghanistan — men and women packed into a US military cargo plane or desperate Afghans clinging to the outside of departing military planes. And who can forget that heart-wrenching image of an Afghan father handing his baby over the fence to an American soldier? In real-time, we’re watching a nation in panic and chaos. More than that, we’re watching a country fight for the most basic of all human rights — freedom! We are also seeing the lengths men and women will go to be free — to raise a family, make a living, walk the street in peace, and worship as they please, and speak as they like.
Of course, if history has taught us anything, pain and suffering will continue — and not everyone will find freedom, at least in the way we usually define it.
And while some may be tempted to shout about the unfairness of life (and even the meaninglessness of life), this approach will only keep you bitter and chained to the earth while also preventing you from exploring just how powerful and free we are.
Yes, we must fight for freedom wherever we can. We must use our votes, voices, and actions, but we must also realize that the real path to freedom (true freedom) is an individual and spiritual journey that lives in our hearts. Fortunately, we hold this freedom in the palm of our hands.
Now, depending on where you live in the world or the struggles you may face, this might seem like an overwhelming challenge, which is why we can no longer continue to see the world with the same eyes we’ve used before. We must define freedom in a new way.
In 1946, Viktor Frankl wrote Man’s Search for Meaning, which provides a vivid account of his experience as a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp. Despite his unimaginable experiences, Frankl came to the profound realization that, “everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” And as if he was sending a message to our world today, Frankl also wrote, “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
It is a beautiful and empowering sentiment. Even more when you consider this from the vantage point that this change could be a call to transform our challenges into meaning that lives beyond the physical world — a call to define freedom as the spiritual quest to discover the part of us that lives beyond time, space, or matter, or even nationality, race, or creed. It is a call to discover the part of us that comes from (and belongs to) Eternity. The part of us that is love, hope, and freedom. And if Frankl can discover this in the middle of a Holocaust, there is hope for us all.
Of course, this is not an excuse to ignore the freedoms being violated across the planet. We should not ignore pain or loss of any kind. Rather, this is our call to be more of who we truly are so that we may bring more love and light to the world. After all, if we want to bring more freedom to those across the planet, we should start by bringing more freedom into our own lives.
So, how do we do this?
As the great poet, Rumi said, “There are many ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” So too, there are many ways to discover our path to spiritual freedom. And it doesn’t have to be as hard as our minds would like us to believe.
I first discovered freedom through my life-long work with Ho’oponopono, the ancient Hawaiian art of problem-solving. Through Ho’oponopono, I discovered that everything in our life is a memory, a program playing in our memory bank (our subconscious mind) that shows up in our lives to give us the opportunity to let go and set ourselves free. You might say I learned to let go of what is not me so I could find out who I really was — and how free I was in my natural state.
This infusion of freedom into my life led me to eventually create Zero Frequency, a program dedicated to helping the modern-day world experience freedom through the fullness of the present moment (and to do it in the everyday challenging moments of our physical lives).
The truth is, it is impossible not to be free when you return to our natural state of Zero — the limitless state that comes when we live in the now — present, conscious, and free of judgment. It is in this state of awareness where we will find our own path to spiritual freedom.
One thing is certain: the world will continue to spin, shake, and rattle, and challenge us in new and unexpected ways. The only question that remains is: how will we respond? Will we shrivel up with despair and hopelessness, or will we root ourselves in the knowledge that we are made of love and light, and that we are free in the only place where it really matters — in our hearts and souls.