Sense of Freedom
Moving 13 miles down
the road - what does that have to do with a sense of
freedom and its relation to happiness? My cats, Serendipity
and Serenity, could answer that for you. You see, a couple
of weeks ago on the morning of our move, their sense of freedom
was rudely and abruptly taken from them as they were placed
in their cat carriers for several hours during the moving
Upon seeing the carriers, each (in her own way) did all she
could to prevent entering the inevitable trap that each one
had experienced before. Serendipity, my 7 pound (petite and
agile) Texas feral cat became a whirling dervish of motion.
If she moved in circles fast enough, she could keep from being
forced into the door. (Dervish literally means doorway.) Serenity,
my 23-pound Denver Dumb Friends League adoptee, had
the same end goal in mind when she bloated her already over-plumb
belly (no, she is not pregnant) out to maximum dimensions
so she would not fit through the door. I finally had to take
the top off the carrier and put her in that way. They both
used their best talents to keep their freedom intact as long
as they could.
Then came the pitiful meows from the back seat as we headed
up to road from Boulder to Lyons, CO. It was obvious - they
were NOT happy. They had lost their sense of freedom - they
had no choice in the matter at all! According to psychologist
Jim Baker's book What Happy People Know, choice
is freedom. It is through choice that we define ourselves.
Whether we recognize it or not, we all have the opportunity
to make choices about our lives every day. Take away the ability
to choose (or choose to perceive that you have no choice)
and you become like my wailing kitties did for a few hours
on moving day. You would probably feel trapped and helpless
- and more than likely you would, in time, become depressed.
- Cathy Hartt in Empower Women As Leaders newsletter
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"There are days when solitude is a heady wine that intoxicates you with freedom, others when it is a bitter tonic, and still others when it is a poison that makes you beat your head against the wall."