Stop Looking for Liberty Outside Yourself
‘Where attention goes, energy flows and results show’ – T.Harv Eker
A couple of years ago, I attended a retreat with Students For Liberty, where my colleague Matko Mavracic gave a talk about how liberty starts in our hearts. He spoke about how when we are free in our hearts and when we come from a place of love, we are the creators of our attitude and proactively choose our emotional frame. A few people inside the room challenged the premise of his talk arguing that governments and the swell of illiberal principles would create an environment of disharmony where liberty could not thrive if they remained unchallenged.
I believe both of these statements are correct. But the nuanced and very subtly important element of our personal control is related to where we place our focus of attention and what we give our energy to. We can rail against the state and all the bad things that governments do (there is so much). In many ways, there should be pushback to illiberal and short-sighted centralised decision making. But if we allow that to consume us and take over our mindset, having it become the main focus of attention in our lives, we become unfree and entangle our own personal liberty further away from creating the life that we want. This is the danger that I see for liberty-lovers, wherever they may be.
The enchantment created by the (bad) laws being passed, can take us away from the focus of our own empowerment and create a sort of distraction for us, while leaving us angry and disappointed. This emotional leakage creates an outcome of time spent in fear, anxiety, worry and general disempowerment.
What if we were to reclaim this emotional energy and our personal focus and we put that energy into our own vision of OUR personal future? Imagine we placed limited attention on what any bureaucrats decree as essential in the political space (we are largely powerless to do anything about it due to the nature of statism)?. This could come in the form of building a relationship which brings us more love and joy into our lives. Perhaps it could be starting a business which can create employment in your region which can help those around you get the services and products that they need. Imagine bringing so much happiness to the employees and families you help to grow and sustain themselves and the communities they live in?
The crux of the matter is, there’s a risk of adopting a victim mentality when we focus on external liberty at the expense of our own internal liberty. In the meantime, our own internal liberty becomes hijacked, taking control over our focus which leaks our emotional energy towards a largely negative experience. Internal liberty should become the focus of ‘why’ we do liberty.
Sure, a healthy scepticism of what the state is doing is always useful but that focus should always be set by default to our own personal contentment and how we are creating the environment for liberty within our own hearts and minds. We get to decide what our focus is attuned to and it doesn’t serve us to focus on what we do not want (hyper-statism and overbearing rules and regulations) for too long.
Fear, worry and dread about the future have alluring qualities for a reactive mind. The tough work for many is to be able to become attuned towards peace, bliss, love and our own internal liberty.
If we are not truly free and signalling to the unconvinced that our own liberty-oriented perspective brings about the greatest sense of emotional freedom, we are doing a disservice to the ‘movement’ and also being disingenuous to ourselves.
Ask yourself, are you truly focused on a target that is very likely to bring about the personal liberty that you are working towards in your own life, or do the officials and revolving regimes elected to rule over your region pull your emotional compass towards a life you feel you are not in control of?
What is the point of liberty activism? To have freedom in our own lives? To satisfy that urge to live in the vision we have for ourselves as free-spirited individuals expressing ourselves in joyful ways, surrounded by people who want to share in that way of life? That way of life is available now and we get to live it every day if we so choose to.
If you would like to learn how to achieve more internal liberty, I am running a 5 Day Mastery Mapping Challenge which you can access by heading to my Facebook Group and you can download the workbook here.