72 Secrets to Happiness
Secret 60 Freedom





Who does not want freedom?  Surprisingly it is you and me.  We all resist any form of change and feel very uncomfortable and out of our element when change occurs.  Our minds long for freedom but our instincts keep us from achieving freedom.

We are enslaved by our ego.  It is the little voice that says they are out to get me and it's a jungle out there so keep you guard up at all times and do not believe anything you hear and question what you see.  It is you trying to be extremely conservative, more than just careful. 

What is the opposite of ego? Change and giving back.  We all get air to breath for free but we do not give back anything without a price.  We horde and grab and never have enough.  Freedom requires change from the extreme to a balance between the two extremes of fear of never having enough and carelessness of not meeting our own needs.

Freedom must be earned by many baby steps.  Just give a little at first and you will begin to experience for yourself the freedom and happiness that giving gives.  Do not expect the journey to be easy because your ego is very powerful and will trick you at every step toward ultimate freedom and happiness.

You will be tempted to want recognition for your giving instead of just feeling the freedom it gives.  That is your ego taking credit.  Notice the word taking which nullifies the giving.  You cannot move to the center unless you do not nullify each and ever move towards the middle.  This is the challenge and the locked door, the key to the cell door is learning to change without nullifying  the change.  That is why I say use baby steps because a very small change is easier.  You will reach the goal if you just keep moving in the right direction.  The goal of freedom is not outside your reach and is completely reachable but not without movement.

Here is an example of a little act of giving.  Someone cuts in line ahead of you and you get mad but you decide to hide it from them and everyone around you and you do not tell your friends what you did.  I hope that helps you get the idea.  There are infinite ways to give that do not include money or goods.  It is probably better not to give a homeless man money because it encourages him not to return to the shelter and will most probably not be used wisely anyway.  Definitely that is not what I mean by giving because it is way too large a step and you get all kinds of good and bad recognition when you do it.

This is another example.  A friend ask for a favor and it upsets you in some way but you see the opportunity to grow by giving so you hide your feelings and grant the favor with a smile, knowing that your friend will never have to return the favor or it will nullify the movement and change.  In other words the progress towards freedom away from ego and movement toward a middle ground; this is your only reward. 

Here is the other extreme.  You learn or have learned for a long time that giving is better than receiving and you are really more of a co-dependent than a hoarder.  In other words you give too much too often.  Again you are in the prison of the ego not feeling good unless it is giving, giving, giving; which in your case is taking, taking, taking because if you do not then who will do it.  It is definitely not you changing because it is what you always do.  No matter how much you give it will never be enough.  If this is you then you need to learn to move to the middle ground where you take care of your own needs and then what ever you have left you are free to give - give - give.

If someone asks for your help and you know they could do it themselves, or if someone asks to borrow something which they really do not need, or someone just casually dismisses your opinion just because they know you will not care, then say no.  Again try to use baby steps.

An example of this might be that a friend asks, are you busy and can you help with something and you in fact are busy so you explain that you will be happy to help later but right now you are busy.   You did not exactly say NO! you were simply honest where normally you would have dropped whatever you were doing to give a hand.  Baby Steps.

In general it can be said that any extreme is bad and moderation is always the wiser and happier place to be.  The one exception is you can never be too happy, but you can be too in love.  You can be too rich, famous, and powerful.  Too religious, spiritual, giving, caring, loving, and helpful.  I guess too happy is the wrong way of expressiong where happiness is because too happy means you are exactly in the middle between giving and taking which is not an extreme but rather a perfect balance.
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