Saturday, February 2, 2013

Learning to love: Freedom

L´earning to  Love

Gloria Ornelas Hall


True commitment comes from freedom. If we are not the masters of our own ‘domain’ we have no ‘choice’. And the value of true loving is that we ‘will’ it. We should all be free to decide. Unfortunately, history is teeming with shameful evidence of the scarring possessiveness of man over woman, master over slave, and the strong over those more vulnerable.

Anthropology tries to ‘apologize’ explaining that, as nomads settled with the development of agriculture, man had to guarantee the legitimacy of his children to validate their inheriting his land. Thus he took women into possession, making them an extension of his reproductive organs. For centuries women have taken on men’s name, having to feed them, give them children and pleasure, with no right to inheritance, or freedom over their bodies. There was a time, when even religious councils posed the question of women’s having a soul! It was as late as the 1900’s that women fought for their right to vote, to have fair conditions at work, to have a right to education and, with the introduction of ‘the pill’, right to sex for pleasure, rather than for mere reproduction. Still today, women´s bodies are overseen by the State, as laws on abortion are passed determining the fate of their pregnancies, and their right or not, to heaven. Today, we can aspire to look our lover in the eye, from the basis of equality and not possession. Though we are not the same, we both have the right to love from our freedom of choice.
Glen Close’s magnificent representation of Mr. Nobbs, exemplifies the saga of women in the eighteen hundreds, as she plays the part of a woman and her plight with survival, when refusing to marry. She ends up dressing as a man, to work for a living. The drama unfolds when she tries to establish a personal relationship in a commitment of marriage and ends liberating the choice for same-sex relationships.

It is not only history that makes freedom difficult to attain. It is the need for personal mastery over fear, weakness, and self-complacency that takes its toll in our fight for freedom. It requires self-governance and full responsibility over our needs and deeds. It requires courage and endurance to live out the consequences of our decisions.

In freedom we realize that there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. It’s ‘why’ we make our choices and ‘what we do with them’, that matters. Commitment made in freedom requires integrity and honor. To honor a decision made over a relationship, is to recognize the personal dignity in ourselves and in our lover. It requires being true to ourselves and to him/her.
In the Bible it specifies that we must undo a commitment made, before acquiring an added responsibility, whether it be to love God or man. It´s OK to change our minds, but we must undo our commitments first, honoring dignity. Such respectful recognition of our lover or ex-lover’s Higher Self, sets love above casualties.

In freedom I choose to love, through sickness and despair. In freedom I accept my limitations and respect my potential. In freedom I chose to forgive and continue loving.

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