When We Attach Freedom To Our Emotions!


When I look at birds:

The inherent emotion of being free…as free as a bird gets stronger and deeper. Many times when I look at the birds I feel the urge to fly and reach wherever I wish within seconds. This thought fills me with an air of independence, of being my own master, away from the bindings and attachments of this world.

And then this reflection of Charlotte Bronte comes to my mind:

“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”

And I become astutely aware of all the nets that ensnare us! Growing up in a close- knit family, bound by the love and fear of stepping away, guided by the ethics and sermons of our parents and teachers!

Where was the feeling of freedom?

Two questions often come to my mind:

Was it good to feel tied? Did those shackles harm my personality?

I’ll try to answer these questions in the later part of this post.

When I look at children:

Their presence around me infuses extra enthusiasm. Have you noticed the efforts of children to break free of all the restrictions to get out of our hands and move away, to explore all the nooks and crannies around the house and even outside, wherever they can reach?

When they have explored the approachable surroundings, their curiosity doesn’t cease…it intensifies!

We are by nature, inquisitive and independent yet we have to face fetters at each step. “Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains,” said the famous philosopher, Rousseau.

We may possess the will to be independent but do we have the power to follow that will?

When I look at youngsters:

I marvel at their will power and determination. This is the freest stage, with hardly any restraints because they can flout all of them, without actually admitting that they have done so… rarely having a feeling of guilt! Any so-called fetters do not bind them because they have the power and the tactics to break them in their own adroit ways!Freedom-of-my-mind-Freedom-Quote

They believe in the dictum: “Freedom is never given, it is won”—A.Philip Randolph.

They don’t let any boundaries hold them from exploring… except the values, if they have been inculcated at the right time and in the right way.

They say… we should have the freedom of choice once we cross the teenage and many people on this globe do have the liberty to take their own decisions, marry according to their choice and live their life as they wish to, sometimes like an island!

And this brings me back to my questioning attitude:

Are they all happy?

Don’t they regret many of their decisions, later in life?

Don’t they want to put restrictions on their teenagers and even young adults?

I know, as young adults, we resist those barriers, we wait to break free, learn our own lessons and rightly so but do we understand the fact that our life is connected with so many people…those who raised us, those who protected us from thorny and dark alleys but suddenly they have to snap off those ties to give you your life, the way you want to live?

When I look at it as an adult:

In a way, I appreciate the eastern values of responsibility and attachment, the delicate threads of relationships that bind us in social norms and contracts, which we understand only when we become mature adults.

We start loving those chains, which appeared oppressive at a young age. We realize the significance of attention and care, which we now expect from our own children. We become more empathetic towards our own parents, siblings and other close members of the family.

As our mental horizon widens, we realize that real chains that we need to shed are the burdens of racial discrimination, economic disparity, religious dogmas, intolerance and social injustice, which still weigh heavily on our shoulders.

Emotions run rife over many such issues in many parts of the globe, questioning freedom of thought and action.

Do we ever think about those who don’t even have the basic freedom, whose emotions are trampled upon even before they can communicate them? Such people crave for bird like freedom.

What is your definition of freedom? Do you have emotional freedom? I would love to hear your views.

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Balroop Singh.



15 thoughts on “When We Attach Freedom To Our Emotions!

  1. I am physically free now. I can finally take my own decisions, but I have never felt as trapped as I am now. I’m a prisonner of my emotions, my feelings, the person I have been. Being physically trapped was much easier.

    1. Hi Nikky,

      Value all kinds of freedom…the feeling of being trapped is momentary, I believe and it wears off as we learn to balance our emotions. We all are enslaved by emotions, some are good, some bad…but breaking free from them is very much our own domain whereas physical freedom is a big blessing.

  2. ***** we realize that real chains that we need to shed are the burdens of racial discrimination, economic disparity, religious dogmas, intolerance and social injustice, which still weigh heavily on our shoulders.***

    Beautiful post. xx

  3. Inspiring Balroop … freedom is extremely important to me. I didn’t grow up in a close knit family so I can’t really relate to the influence that might have had. But my values and the work I choose to do are fundamentally grounded in the concept of personal freedom. In fact I don’t value money for the things it can buy because stuff has never been important to me – but rather for the freedom it affords me to be able to live life on my own terms.

    1. Hi Marquita,

      Thanks for the kind words. The freedom in a close knit family is limited to the choice of all those members around us, who want us to behave in a particular manner, do what they feel is right, even think according to the permitted norms…respecting their sentiments is more important than any personal freedom…sometimes it becomes too overwhelming!! When you grow up in this kind of environment, then it becomes acceptable to think first about your dear ones.

      Thank you for adding your insight and sharing your concerns about the importance of freedom. I value your words of wisdom.

  4. HI Balroop,

    Lovely post, just as all the rest 🙂

    I am glad I live in this part of the world where bonding and relationships are given utmost importance. Yes, there is compassion, empathy, closeness, right through and even after marriage I would say. The real concern for parents, siblings and each other is much stronger.

    If you raise your kids the way you want them to be, they mostly follow it through, unless they want to break ties and perhaps that happens when they are really disturbed about some things.

    I liked your example of the free birds, so apt, just the way we need to be to let go of our emotions and live a free life. I think we all try to do that, but sometimes you are caged within your own emotions and there seem like no outlet, while at other times, you yourself have the keys to that lock, and you can set yourself free, if you want, isn’t it?

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice weekend 🙂

    1. Hi Harleena,

      Thanks for the support…I really love it!

      The birds have always attracted me, when I watch them flying together, in big groups, I often think – do they have the same kind of bonding, do they love and care like we do…I have observed their care though….the way they feed their young ones, the way they help them in fluttering their wings and then do they feel the same way when one day, suddenly they fly away!!

      I agree we hold the key to our freedom…only if we develop the resilience to handle those emotions which bind us so firmly…giving vent to my emotions by pouring them into poetry has greatly helped me.

      Thanks for the lovely thoughts, I appreciate them, truly!

  5. Hi Balroop,

    When I first started reading your post, I immediately thought of the beautiful hummingbirds that live at the feeders in our backyard year round. I’ve often thought of how nice it would be to have the ability to fly and sometimes have dreams of doing so.

    I enjoyed how you looked at freedom through various ages, and then offered your perspective informed by your maturity and personal growth.

    I think there are many forms of freedom. For example, when I was a child, I was abused. To me, one form of freedom is not being in that environment. I think the ultimate freedom is being your true self, aligned to your purpose.

    Kind Regards,

    1. Hi Bill,

      I am glad that the beginning of my article transported you into your backyard…I guess all nature lovers derive their inspiration from the tiniest particles around them, the humming of birds goes much beyond that…we can take a fantasy flight!

      Thanks for reading till the end! I was feeling it was becoming heavier as I was wrapping it up, sometimes my thoughts just wander away to realities.

      I agree with you – freedom has its forms, same can be said for abuse…I have spoken about the latter a lot in my poetry. You can’t even imagine the intensity…you have to read it!

      Thanks for your continued support and kind words and tweets.

  6. Hi Balroop,

    You mentioned the birds and how free they are to fly reminded me of seeing the birds along our walks. From time to time I’ll see them bathing in the water puddle by the street and I just want to stand there and watch them because they just look like they’re having the best time ever. In our parking lot they’ll also hunker down in the sand and do the same thing. They are just such amazing creatures and I could watch them for hours.

    I think a lot of people look at freedom differently. I never even thought about it when I was a child to be honest with you but I’m so blessed to live in a country where I’m not restricted in any way and as we grow into adults we’re able to make choices that suit us.

    Like Bill shared having been in an abusive environment during his childhood, just knowing that’s all some children know is just sad. I guess I just take so much for granted at times.


    1. Hi Adrienne,

      You are right, watching birds gives a pleasure of its own kind…they can really inspire a lot of thoughts! Yes. those who enjoy freedom take it for granted…like sunshine and rain…we never give a thought to those who are deprived of it!

      I am glad you were so lucky to have all the blessings as a child! So the secret of your goodness lies in your childhood! I wish this kind of freedom and happiness for all the children of the world.

      Thanks for standing by! Your thoughts are greatly appreciated.

  7. Hi Balroop, I really enjoyed this thought provoking post on freedom, especially the quote by Charlotte Bronte which has always been one of my favorite quotes.

    Like you, I too appreciate the eastern values of responsibility and attachment but we experience its true value only after we gain a certain level of emotional maturity. At the time we are growing up, we may have feel chained. As you rightly mentioned, the real chains are different. As a woman living in India, I see social evils that continue to be practiced though every one knows it should not be the case. For example, dowry, female foeticide, discrimination of women in a family on the basis of their wealth, job status, etc. There is so much social injustice despite education. Another example is how we, as a society, still treat rape victims, divorced women and widows – there is a serious need to introspect and change a lot of this. So much to do, so little time.

    Do keep writing!

    1. Hi Swapna,

      I am glad you like this post and could relate to it. You are so right…it is only when we attain a bit of maturity that we start appreciating our core values …though we yearn to break free as youngsters! What a paradox!

      Yes…I know all those chains SO well, having spent more than half of my life at a place which could not address the painful issues of women you have mentioned…I have touched upon some of them in my articles and more in my poetry. Thanks for providing a positive feedback, that is a big encouragement!

      Thank you for adding your perspective to the discussion, it is immensely valued.

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