learn to be free

We cannot choose what happens to us, but we can choose our reactions. The right to act freely, from love and reflection, is the way to be happier.

Like thought or conscience, freedom, that faculty that allows a person to choose their own line of conduct and how they want to live their lives, is inherent to the human being. In his name, linked to feelings of justice and equality, the bloodiest battles have been fought and the most beautiful poems have been written.

Only through its exercise is it possible to become fully happy and achieve the long-awaited personal self-realization.

As Álex Rovira recalls in his book The Interior Compass, when a child is born he is totally free, he has no roof but the sky; but he soon learns, through family, educational and social mandates, to set a height limit.

It can be two meters, two hundred, two kilometers, two hundred thousand... or two hands from the ground; which possibly leads him to drag himself through life, to survive more than to live, to have to earn a living, perhaps because he believes that he has lost it beforehand.


The conditions that prevent us from exercising our free will and developing our potential have very diverse nuances. They can be from limiting beliefs, instilled within the family and the school environment, and global economic problems, to extreme cases of deprivation of liberty.

Some examples are the immigrants who come to the West in small boats after a tortuous journey in which it is easy to lose their lives and are returned to their country; the anonymous prisoners of Guantánamo and other enclaves; the women who are stoned in some countries for adultery; people who suffer the consequences of wars and dictatorships ...

In any case, something that should not be lost sight of and that forms part of the privileges of being human is that, although it is not always feasible to choose what happens to us, we can choose our response to what happens to us.

Even in the most adverse conditions we can choose to bring out what is most human, what is most loving, understanding or generosity, and put aside hatred and anger.


Víktor Frankl, an Austrian psychiatrist of Jewish origin who lived through the horror of the concentration camps and the loss of his wife and parents in the gas chambers, collected in his famous book Man's Search for Meaning reflections that went in this direction.

Frankl, naked and alone in a punishment room, began to become aware of what he called "ultimate freedom", a redoubt of his freedom that could never be taken from him despite the dehumanization and suffering that surrounded him.

He understood that he was a conscious being, capable of observing his own life, capable of deciding how what he was experiencing could affect him. Between what was happening and what he was doing, between the stimuli and his response, he mediated his inner freedom, his power to change that response.

Thanks to this mental attitude, Frankl found the strength to remain true to himself, find a reason to live, in contact with the spirit. Later, when he managed to get out of the Nazi nightmare alive, he created logotherapy, the third Viennese psychological school after Freud's psychoanalysis and Adler's psychology. His approach was based precisely on the search for the meaning of life-based on personal will.

Frankl argued that every man is capable of making his own decisions, that he is free to choose his own destiny and not become a puppet at the mercy of circumstances or his own unconscious reactions.


But taking charge of your own life is not easy when you are immersed in a spiral in which routines, obligations, and commitments can exercise tight control over the individual.

Many people in the West spend their time doing tasks that do not bring them much beyond financial compensation. And that money goes to a large extent to meet the colossal expenses of a life system that leads to the acquisition of goods that momentarily cover the frustration of an empty existence, but that does not allow addressing the underlying problem, a problem of loss of identity.

In modern and technological society it is easy for a person to end up not having time for themselves and to enjoy with their loved ones, seeing their critical and constructive vision of the world canceled. Somehow, the individual is losing sight of who he really is and what his vital mission is.

Choosing the life you want or making a profound change from an unsatisfactory situation implies the responsibility to make the decision and open yourself to the unknown. It is a path that produces fear and that can take the person back to the initial fear that they experienced when separating from the protection and security that their parents offered them, as the German psychologist and humanist Erich Fromm affirmed in his work From him The fear of freedom.


Become aware of oneself, impartially analyzing what one is, without removing or putting anything, highlighting the qualities and shortcomings, achievements and failures, reflecting on the personal moment that one is going through, seeing what emotions arise, what would be changed and what not, it can mark the beginning of personal transformation or regeneration.

Krishnamurti says: "This understanding of oneself is not a result, a culmination, but consists in seeing oneself from moment to moment in the mirror of coexistence, in seeing our relationship with goods, things, people, and ideas".

When a person decides to get to know himself better, he may have to rewrite the script of his life, observing to what extent what he does and thinks is the fruit of his own harvest or obeys what others sowed for him. He will have to weigh to what extent many of his current limitations may be related to the worldview he received from his parents and caregivers.

The way we perceive ourselves is largely shaped in childhood based on that reflected image that the people around us give back to us.

As we take responsibility for our lives we will seek our inner truth, because we have chosen to recognize and manifest our own power. The mere fact of being aware of these aspects already allows us to gain inner freedom.

Suddenly, all that parasitic programming makes room for more genuine and often overshadowed potential. The person erases expired labels or mandates from his hard disk and tries to rewrite an idea about himself that allows him to discover his brilliance and advance without obstacles.

By directing attention towards ourselves, modifying our lifestyle if necessary, and observing how we act, to contribute the best feelings that we are capable of (empathy, kindness, kindness, respect, affection... ), it is possible that let's manage to change our perception of things and exercise our inner freedom. And perhaps we touch at the same time as if it were a domino effect, the conscience of others.


When a person explores himself and decides to trace his own path, an unknown or forgotten peace and serenity come over him and a more optimistic and luminous vision of life, with fewer fears. She does not feel so vulnerable, but more confident and joyful, more connected to the flow of life, more intuitive, and also more creative, something that will make it possible for new projects and possibilities to arise.

She may have problems similar to the ones she had before she decided to exercise her inner freedom, but she deals with them differently, so what happens to her is an opportunity for growth. Connected with the most sensitive and spiritual part of herself, she stops having an egocentric vision and begins to give importance to things that she barely considered before.

It may simplify your life, giving way to personal relationships and enjoyment of the present, as if each day were your last, regaining the enthusiasm and capacity for wonder that you had left parked long ago. Feelings of detachment, solidarity, unity, compassion, and humility are likely to emerge as you have nothing to prove to others and are open to experience and discovery.

Annie Marquier, writer and transpersonal psychologist, explains that "when we take responsibility for our lives we stop allowing ourselves and others to be manipulated. We go to seek the truth within ourselves because we have chosen to recognize, declare and manifest our own power. We learn not to be afraid of the power of others or our own. Freed from the traumas of authority produced during childhood, we respect the power of others and express our own, respecting differences and authentic exchange".

From the moment we know that we are creators and that we can generate a more coherent and satisfying life, we are willing to act to build it and play the winner in the game of life, instead of trying to make others lose. and anchoring oneself in the role of victim. When we make contact with our own power, we play at being, fully enjoying it.


Reflect rather than react on impulse. In the face of bad news, injustices, or critical moments, staying calm and responding from reflection rather than from impulse will make what we say and how we act have greater credibility and impact.

Say no when we disagree and establish our limits when we think we should, being respectful, without aggressiveness, but showing firmness in what we defend.

Living more by what really makes us happier and more creative than with what is socially considered correct ends up alienating us. It is important to have more time for oneself and the ffamily and take care of relationships avoiding the trap of competitiveness and self-centeredness.

Responsible consumption. Dispense with purchases due to fashion imperatives or psychological escapism. Do not throw away items (food, clothing, electrical appliances... ) at the first opportunity; if possible, repair or recycle them.

Contact with nature, our source of life, becoming aware of the importance of its sustainability, undertaking actions on a personal scale: reducing energy expenditure, using public transport, consuming organically grown products...

Reconnect with oneself (if it can be every day, better) and introspect about how we are and how we feel. Listening to what our soul tells us offers us the opportunity to be masters of our own life, without letting ourselves be carried away by the rush and events. Practicing meditation, yoga, or tai chi daily or a few days a week helps us to stay in the present moment, to value and appreciate life more, of which we are an active part.


Virginia Satir, a pioneer in Family Therapy, defined the process through which a person could achieve inner freedom. One way to do this is to give yourself permission to:

To be and be who I am, instead of believing that I should wait for another person to determine where I should be or how I should be.

Feel what I feel, instead of feeling what others would feel in my place.

To think what I think and also the right to say it, if I want, or to shut it up, if that's what suits me.

Take the risks that I decide to take, with the only condition that I agree to pay the price that those risks imply.

Seek what I think I need from the world, instead of waiting for someone else to give me permission to get it.