Why Not Just Be Free?

Mon 22 January 2024 by R.L. Dane

I have had ONE motto scrawled on the "generic boogie board"/"information age magic slate"/"non-computerized liquid crystal display" thingie on my fridge for months now, usually in artsy and nearly-unintelligible cursive scrawl:

𝓦𝓱𝔂 𝓷𝓸𝓽 𝓳𝓾𝓼𝓽 𝓫𝓮 𝓯𝓻𝓮𝓮?
(Why not just be free?)

This phrase came about from a long video conversation with a dear friend about a lot of sticky subjects. I, being a more black-and-white thinker was arguing back and forth with my far more nuanced and well-rounded friend, who was arguing for (what I will paraphrase and describe in my own words for brevity and because of fading memory) the nobility of the journey towards wholeness in a place of the barrenness of the soul in sin. My response, based on my own journey, and my awareness of the incredible deceitfulness of brokenness in the heart (and the damage done to identity that comes from such long battles) was to say simply, "I get all that, but... why not just be free??"

Far from just another slogan to beat hurting people over the head with (can you tell I come from an Evangelical background?) this phrase has become my own internal rallying war cry. I take it into battle with me every time I deal with mental health, trauma, and the negative self-propagating cycles of life.

There are so many times I feel stuck in a rut because of dumb patterns of behavior, childhood (and way past childhood) trauma, coping mechanisms, self-medication, and all manner of brokenness, and this phrase will come to me from out of nowhere. Right when I feel ready to concede the fight, when the thing that is trying to define me according to its own darkened image is about to spring forward to land the final critical blow, this thought alights on my mind:
why not just be free??

And by this, I do not mean to say that I can be free, or that it would be nice to be free, or that I should think myself free, re-frame my mindset in freedom, or take on the identity of being free.

I mean that I am free. Full stop.

It is a reminder of the reality that was secured for me, not an aspirational goal or mission statement.

By Christ, by blood, by death-defeated, by new-life-secured, I am free.
I am free from all of the crap of my past and fundamentally, I am free from me.