Continued from Grown Up School Part 2: Self and Other

There are 4 aspects on this continuum between Freedom and Restraint.

1. Feeling

Freedom: I can feel deeply, I know what I am feeling, I don’t push feelings away.  If I can’t feel deeply, I am shut off from myself, from the universe and from other people.

Restraint: On the other hand, I don’t have to act on those feelings, or react to them.  I can hold myself until my expression of the feeling is good for myself and others.  If I can’t hold onto myself, I am a drama queen, an unstable force in the community.

2. Desire

Freedom: I allow myself to want, and to name the things I want.  If I don’t allow myself desire,  I am sleep walking to the beauties of the world.

Restraint:  However, I can delay gratification and even deny gratification if it is better for myself and the world.  If I can’t delay gratification I risk gluttony, overspending, or a mentality of disposability- not valuing the very thing I have prized.

3. Expression

Freedom: I can fully express my creative force.  If I can’t express my creative force, in some way (words, love, music, art, action, building, sport) I am denying a core element of my humanity.

Restraint: I can do it in such a way that doesn’t step on or impinge the rights of others.  If I express it with no regard to others or without restraint, I take advantage of others, and cross their boundaries.

4. Exploration

Freedom: I am open to new experience, I see adventure.  If I’m not open to experience, I become ritualized and limited, stuck in my ways.

Restraint: I am equally able to ground and be steady, not grasping for the next high.   If I am an experience junkie, I’m unable to be content with what it right now.