The Weight We All Carry

I really pay attention to people, details, things they say and things they do and what they are saying with their eyes. I have noticed that people live their lives in very different tones, even when practically speaking they may be doing the same thing. What do I mean by tones? Shades, intensity of color and light and saturation. A friend of mine would call it their “frequency“. One person does everything with intensity, he is into business talk, he has goals, he has a purpose and a direction and he does not see what happens outside of the line between him and his goal. Another person does not seem to have ambitions, yet she also seems to be fine: she has a job, friends and family, and that is pretty much what life is about. She does not spend much time thinking about anything beyond. Yet another person is in constant change, one time doing this, another time doing that, without care for what others think or to what is expected.

What makes one angry makes the other laugh, what makes one turn away, makes another come forward. One person tries to lead life, the other person follows where life leads — and most of us are strange animals in between.

When thinking about why that is, I came across the thought of freedom. Freedom can be quite scary if you think about it, because freedom means responsibility, and I believe how we think about that freedom, and what we do with it, is at the heart of the tone and intensity of our lives. Freedom means that your actions are your own, and you have to own them. For anything, ultimately, you choose to do what you do and you could have chosen something else. Surely we often have reasons that make us feel we have no choice, but in the end we can always choose, as long as we own up to the consequence: sometimes our reputation, sometimes our jobs, approval of others, or even our lives.

Maybe you think you are important. Your life is a piece in the grand puzzle of the cosmos, and there is something you have to do in this life that only you can get done, and the universe will not be the same without you. That is something Hollywood tells us a lot, and it is a very profitable idea when someone wants a nation, corporation or program to “progress“: convince everyone that they are part of this great achievement and they should give their all in order to accomplish it. Study and be specialized in one thing only you can do so you will be a special cog in the Machine.

Maybe you think you are important, but not that much. Your life is more like a drop in the ocean, small, but without you the ocean would be smaller too. Or maybe you think you are not important, the universe has done well without you and will keep going after you, and you can kind of just do what you want.

I will not get in the merits of who is right or wrong here, but let us remember freedom. Are you destined and bound to do what you do? Are you the type who will not move forward until you are sure something is your “calling“? Then nothing you do is really ever your fault. Life is easy that way, “I am just following orders, sir“. Or do you choose to do what you want and say “I did it because I wanted to“? That is a big statement, and a very responsible one.    Do you realize that in whatever you are doing, you could actually be doing something else? That is a scary, freeing thought. Yet also a motivating one: maybe you really want to do what you do, and acknowledging it will actually make you do it better.

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