Those who do not move, do not notice their chains. ― Rosa Luxemburg
Rosa knew exactly what she was talking about.
You cant free people who don’t know they are enslaved…especially yourself. You cant shed old skin, old ways and old thoughts until you have something to replace it with. None but ourselves can free our minds.
We have to believe we can break free, but before that we have to believe we are worthy of freedom.
Sometimes we are chained by weight, or debt or addictions. Sometimes we are chained by our past hurts and pain. Sometime we are chained by our need for speed, need for stuff and things in our lives. More times than not we are chained by our own thoughts about who we are and who we think we can be.
These chains keep us from trying, from changing, from growing, from learning.
I know what I am talking about, because I was chained in so many areas of my life. My poor health, over stressed, fast lifestyle was a huge chain I wore for years. I was chained by poor choices and bad decisions that made my life and world view limited. I thought they were just pretty bracelets that every woman in my family had the pleasure of wearing. Shiny baubles of too many fatty foods, no exercise , too much pressure and caring for everyone in the world before myself. The chain of being the perfect woman, mother, nurturer and sister. The chain of giving everything to everybody even at the cost of my soul.
I think women in my family received these chains upon puberty.
Being bound for so long. I lost hope. I thought this was life . Generation after generation of self sacrificing black woman. Such a cliche….
The reality was sometime it was easier to stay stuck, stay small, stay shackled. The pain becomes normal. I no longer noticed the chains. I even wore them with pride on occasion. The less I thought about my chains the more tolerable they became.
I had an option … I could continue to wear the chains and follow the path before me or I could make choices that would have me walking anew path.
But here is the truth : we cant dance or sing or sit in the sunlight when shackled. We cant truly laugh or love when chained.
I did not want to die chained. I had to break my chains so I could live.
I had to be freed. The funny thing about freedom is it is very rarely given, most times it is fought for and won. I had to become my own example of struggle and redemption. My personal revolution.
I still fight for my freedom everyday. I do so with every choice I make, how well I show myself loving kindness, how well I share my gifts with the world. I do so when I allow myself to be open and vulnerable. I do so when I try something new. When I fail and get back up. When I love and allow others to love me. I do so every time I say no to others and yes to me.
To be liberated you have to become keenly aware of just how you are enslaved.
I remember and have no plans of going back.