Since June, I’ve thought about the notion of freedom in earnest. In the wake of all that is going on regarding systemic racism, police brutality, and health inequities, freedom just feels… absent; more of a lofty goal than a reality.
For this reason, each week I’ll explore an adjective of freedom. This week I’m focusing on the thought that freedom starts in the mind. My enslaved ancestors were still free to daydream. They were free in spirit. In their mind, they aspired to transcend the physical limitations of their environment. Had this not been true, today could look a lot different.
I posit that names like Idlebird and Freeman were not just about enslavement. They represented a state of mind…a free state of mind. A place that is sacred because autonomy, agency, and promise dwell there. That place is magical and cannot be taken away from any person.
Questions to consider this week abound. A few I’m contemplating are:
- Are there circumstances that are limiting my growth?
- Am I shackled to a toxic relationship?
- What thought patterns are preventing me from liberating my loved ones and myself?
I’m acutely aware that as a Black woman my perception of freedom has always been colored by my people’s history. It’s limited by circumstances such as political, economic, or even this pandemic, all of which are beyond my control. The very acknowledgment that I cannot do what I want, when I want is, to me, there antithesis to being free. But yet, when I close my eyes and dare to seek the comfort of my mind, of solitude, of connectedness, it is when I feel the most free.