“Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose”
– Janis Joplin, Me and Bobby McGee
“. . . nothin’ left to lose” sounds pretty scary and right down un-American. Nothin’ left to lose implies I have nothing at all – and, I want stuff. “Freedom”, now that is very American and I like that word. Doesn’t seem as though this line from the old Janis Joplin song Me and Bobby McGee makes sense. Actually, it’s a gem of the most secret and sacred wisdom. Pure magic! So, do you want to be free – or, not? Read on, fellow pilgrim, read on.
What if you had nothing left to lose? Take a minute and think about it. Does it conjure up a picture of you standing on a street corner, alone, no possessions, no friends, hungry, sick, dying? Good. Stay there a minute. Nothin’ left to lose. Ok, so maybe that’s not the life you want. Maybe you want some stuff.
Now, look around you – how much stuff do you have? Expand the category of “stuff” to include – spouse or partner, children, friends, job, home and all the stuff in your home, car. You get the picture. George Carlan had a great comedy routine about “my stuff – your shit”. How much of this stuff is actually shit? How much of your freedom has all this stuff cost?
“Stuff” – add in beliefs – I have to do, be, think, look, speak in a certain way? How much of your freedom have you spent on this stuff?
Somewhere between your image of standing on that street corner and the reality of your life is the right balance point for you. A balance between stuff and freedom.
Now, here is the secret, sacred, magic part – you are the choice maker. You get to decide how much and which stuff you have. Is that cool or what?
In The Book of Secrets Deepak Chopra says this:
“The universe has no fixed agenda. Once you make any decision, it works around that decision. There is no right or wrong, only a series of possibilities that shift with each thought, feeling and action that you experience. . . .The universe has a stake in which choices you decide to make, for the overwhelming evidence is that it favors evolution over standing still.”
So, are you making choices – right now, today – that are favoring your evolution – or, are you standing still? Big question.
You don’t have to do anything – you don’t have to have a lot of stuff. Everything you do, you do because you’re choosing to do it. You might as well admit that. At least to yourself. It makes life a lot easier. When we were children, if we didn’t do the things we “had” to do, this might displease our parents, and they controlled the food. Today you control the food – and the clothing, and the shelter, and all the necessary things for life.
Do you begin to see your role in all this? The class room of life is not third grade. You choose what you learn from the many lessons presented to you. To the extent you are making choices because you believe you need more stuff – look really hard – is all that stuff adding to your joy, peace, happiness?
Stop. Don’t do anything. You are at a choice point. You have two ways to go. One choice equals freedom. The other choice equals misery – familiar misery; maybe even comfortably familiar misery, but misery nonetheless. And, just possibly shit, not even stuff.
Choices, sometimes we love ‘em and sometimes we don’t. When they are easy, they are our friends and we feel in charge and free. When they are difficult, we do everything from research – get more facts – to pretending we don’t have a choice. The latter approach doesn’t work really well since the choice just keeps standing right there in front of us staring us down. What’s a person to do?
Did you ever consider that it really doesn’t make a whole lot of difference which course you choose? Freedom and wisdom are gained in the act of choice making. Think about that – it’s not the choice but going through the process of conscious choice making that helps you evolve.
Are you awake and aware enough to really consider whether this choice results in Freedom and needed stuff or just more shit?