• Asrar Mousli

What does it mean to live freely?

At certain crossroads, you and I wonder whether our individual desires should lead our choices, or whether we should use external standards to make decisions instead. Sometimes we attempt both. It doesn’t work.

Here are my definitions of the two terms.

Individual Desire:

A core emotion within oneself that rises to indicate a physical or psychological need at a given time.

External Standards:

The socially accepted norms or measures, widely known as (right) or (good) within a collective identity.

There is a wide spectrum of beliefs that people live by when the question “am I free to do what I desire?” is asked.

A desire towards something is no different from physical thirst in terms of it being an internal signal that indicates a deeper need, in this case; survival.

The fault is often not in the feeling of wanting (which is an added layer of needing), but in our interpretation of what it means to want what we want, due to our belief systems and unique view of the world.

Desire, in its own right, comes with the human experience package.

To mark it as a flaw or deny it is to deny the nature of who we are. Even the desire to deny desire, is a desire to be “something else”. You cannot eliminate it or tame it no matter how hard you go against your own current. It is ultimately a built in tool and a reliable source of insight into oneself and the current state of the self on all levels.

When I finally made peace with this, I found that to be free is to live without apology. To allow desire and to listen to it as I would a loved friend. To discover the underlying need of which my desire speaks. To honor this without judgement, shame or guilt. To trust myself with my desires so as to meet my underlying needs, no matter how senseless or threatening they may seem to others. I will no longer apologize for wanting, or needing, or doing anything so long as it is within the boundaries of my right and free will as a living being.

I might have not acknowledged this, had I not been experiencing a global lockdown for weeks on end. This silver lining is without a doubt shining very brightly into my life.

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