When I think about the first years of my marriage, when I was so desperate to have a partner beside me, to have a family, to enjoy all that I felt life had to offer me in the way of a family experience, I realise now what a huge bondage and delusion I was under. I seriously waited 30 years of my life for Mr Right to come and ‘complete me’ and then wondered why my knight in shining armour was tarnished! I had such high expectations and the reality check really was a bit like a slap in the face.
It wasn’t until after my husband and I went through a period of separation after 12 years of marriage, that I realised how big a bondage we had placed upon each other. We had been sold an image of what a perfect marriage is like, what a perfect family is like but the truth is we create the family that expresses the combination of how we were brought up and who we are as individuals. It’s a unique set of factors that go into the whole process, so this notion of perfection just simply doesn’t exist.
For us, we really were two co-dependent adults, from quite dysfunctional families, with no personal freedom, and consequently, it is logical that we really struggled with this whole issue of partnership and family.
So now that I am older, and I hope wiser, I realise that there is a wonderful freedom that comes from loving without expectation. I had to come to the point where I said to my husband, you are free to go if this relationship is damaging to you. Fortunately, he chose to remain in the relationship and our marriage is now much more solid than it ever was before. However, we’ve both had to embrace a higher level of grace towards each other and to also embrace each other’s dreams and be more supportive, despite our own personal thoughts.
I think there is a principle that I learned here. Being liberated is not about the state of your relationships, whether you are committed or single, it is about how we are on the inside and how we choose to express that through our actions on the outside. If we are free in our relationships, then that is what it means to be liberated. What we choose to do with that personal freedom will depend on our values, of course.
Victor Frankl in his book Man’s Quest for Meaning explains how when he was being tortured in a Nazzi prisoner of war camp he came to realise that he was more free than his captors because they could touch his body but they couldn’t touch his spirit. He had no choice about what was going on, they did. He chose freedom of spirit, but they chose bondage to these depraved acts. Personal freedom sincerely comes from within, not from without, because you can be in a prison of your own creating through your circumstances but how you choose to react to those circumstances really does define your level of freedom.
With my team in Women Can International Inc, I have always stated and reinforced the message that I hold my friends lightly. Tight enough that they feel my love and loose enough that they can walk in and out of my life without fear or regret.
If I look broader at this concept, the same applies to every situation in life. When we seek to take control, we unwittingly bring upon ourselves and others bondage. When we relax and go with the flow, making good decisions along the way, providing leadership where warranted, we free ourselves and others to be themselves and to enjoy the journey.
There is definitely a place for organisation and leadership, however, I don’t think leadership equals control and neither does proper organisation. Through open communication we can facilitate the need to organise effectively without having to control.
So ladies, be liberated. You don’t need a man to complete you. You don’t need children to complete you. You don’t need food, substances, or ‘things’ period. You are free to allow whatever you want in your life, but whenever there comes an issue of control, that’s when you need to put the brakes on and take a good look, because we all have the right to personal freedom, just so long as it doesn’t impinge on another’s personal freedom.
In my mind, women’s liberation is not about becoming masculine, it is all about embracing all of yourself, getting to know who you are and then not being afraid to express that inner person to the world. It most definitely is not a competition to see who is the best and if this is where we are headed then I think we have lost our way. We do not need to fight for something we were given at birth – the right to be considered equal. What we do need is to walk in the freedom of the knowledge that we are equal and we don’t need to prove it or force it. There is more than one way to skin a cat, we just need to find the pathway that arrives at our destination.
Be liberated from the notion that you are not complete. I truly believe that today you stand in the right place, possessing all the right things you need to live a successful life.
When she is not fulfilling the duties of Editor for Finally at 40 Life Begins Magazine, Hayley Solich is the Chief Creatician at The Creaticians and a woman who is passionate about developing and launching others.
“I love working with people…they fascinate, inspire and motivate me to be better, to do more and to embrace change,” shares Hayley.
Hayley’s PR & Branding Business, The Creaticians, has the motto Growing People to Grow their Business and specialises in working with both the person and the product, supporting individuals and small to medium businesses to brand and launch their products or services so they can build profitable businesses.
Offering Business Support Services in the form of Mentoring and Business Training, Graphic and Web Design (including video promos and music composition) The Creaticians take an holistic approach to business support.