Parameters of Freedom

Up until recently the words ‘freedom’ and ‘parameters’ seemed pretty counterintuitive to me. Isn’t freedom a complete lack of boundaries and limitation? A complete lack of parameters? That is what I used to feel, but something has changed of late, and now I’m pretty sure I am standing on the other side of the fence. A side that says freedom is enhanced by parameters. And vice versa.

I recently resumed my studies in psychology at university. Six years ago I graduated from my undergraduate degree feeling completely spent and used up. While I have always loved psychology and been intrigued by the brain and how it relates to human behaviour, I hated the systems and the levels, the deadlines and constraints, the ‘have to’s’ and expectation constantly imposed upon anyone seeking to share their passion at a professional level. The hierarchy of it all did my head in – almost literally it felt. I was jumping through hoops just because someone else told me to – and I pretty much did.

Things are so different this time around. In the five years leading up to my recent decision to continue on in this area, I went to the opposite extreme. All my life I had been that girl who was so dedicated and studious, who studied hard and worked long hours, who sacrificed sleep and social activity to do what I thought had to be done. I was tired. I missed people. I missed music. I missed the sun!

So I went to the opposite extreme.

I took away all deadlines and have to’s. I refused to book things in ahead of time unless I absolutely had to, and I removed all the structure I could.

It was so liberating for a while! So much spaciousness I had never experienced before! I was free! haha.. Temporarily.

While I loved that time, there reached a point where I was ready for more.

I was actually missing the structure. How can you sing along to a song if you have no pattern to work with, no guidelines to lift from? How do you do anything really, without some kind of foundation to launch from?

You can’t really. You can jump from the ground as much as you like, but without some kind of structure to catch the wind, you will never really get any higher.

I was ready to fly!

That’s when I felt the urge to study again. This time around it has been such a different experience. I find myself excited by statistics, (this is not to say it isn’t incredibly overwhelming at times! haha), inspired by the challenge of balance. I feel as thought I am somehow maximising my intelligence in all areas of my life. My music has been skyrocketed, my interpersonal relationships are blossoming. I feel stronger in my freedom than ever! The parameters don’t feel like restraints, they feel like wings!

I have been thinking about this for a while now, but then came across this quote yesterday that inspired me to write this blog:

“Creation is born from a balance between expansive freedom and working within an established parameter.”

Yes. Let’s fly!

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