It was the night of the new year; 2010 and a very inebriated me declared ‘Liberation is love!’ as the bells tolled the start of new beginnings.
The saying has stuck with me ever since but only recently have I truly begun to think about and to understand its full meaning. When I first coined the phrase, I had not long left my husband and moved myself and my kids into my mother’s very small flat. I had met a friend who was kind enough to envelope me within her social circle, I was single for the first time in over 10 years and my mental health was in a dangerous place (though not quite at my lowest point) – At the time, all Liberation is love meant to me was how I felt in that moment – I was recklessly happy, it was my first real taste of what a social life might feel like and I felt free – I felt like I was in exactly the place I was supposed to be at that time; surrounded by the drunken, merriment of some of those who have become my closest friends within these past few years.
With every passing year Liberation is love has taken on a new meaning; letting go of blame – both toward myself and toward others, letting go of fear and negativity (I’m still working on this one!), saying goodbye to negative influences and embracing positive ones. It has followed me through all of my milestones and all of my stumbling points…
Liberation is a beautiful thing but when I spoke those words, felt that phrase, I did not understand quite what it meant. Liberation; letting go? Setting free? Must I wait for someone else to do that for me? Or can I liberate myself? Can I find the help and support I need for my mental illness and liberate myself from suffering? Can I remove the people from my life who bring nothing positive and liberate myself from negativity? Can I love myself enough to work towards liberation?
Nobody set me free, released me from my cage or liberated me. There were helping hands but I had to reach for them and allow them to grab hold of me – I liberated myself. Liberation is love. That is what it means to me now, that I finally loved myself enough to let go of all the hate and blame eating at my very soul; that I love myself enough to be true to myself and live a life I feel is worthy and be a person I can feel proud of. I have many more things to accomplish but I have never been more content with my life than I am now.
I used to wish for someone to come and rescue me; from within the darkest recesses of my mind I would scream for help and wonder when someone would notice, when they might come for me – I thought a man was the answer, I thought a marriage was my salvation… I never thought to look inward first, never held enough faith in myself to believe that I might hold the key to my own happiness.
And now, embarking on new ventures into love and romance I can finally say that I’m in it for the right reasons – I don’t need love, I want it and there is a vast difference between the two.
Liberation is love… and you hold the key.