Songs of freedom…

“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery
None but ourselves can free our mind” Bob Marley

Songs of Freedom by Michael Aboya

What if i told you, you are as free as your mind allows? What if i told you that you hold the very keys to the emancipation of your shackles, whatever they may be? Would you believe me…? What if i told you, you could free yourself from every oppression of any kind no matter how powerful, if you just put your mind to it? What if i told you… it all starts in your head. All liberating redemption is super charged by what you feed your mind, what you believe to be true. Your beliefs, your mind alone is your sole oppressor, even more than the agent used to oppress you. I can already feel the breath of angry protests wanting to erupt from your victim filled throat. I say victim, not in judgement but with compassion pointing to your potential power…only if you choose to use it. “But…but he did this…she did this…they did this to me…”. Oh yes, i don’t doubt they did…but you are doing the rest to yourself. Note that “did” is past tense and “doing” is present tense.

Before i lose you to overwhelming defensiveness, please understand this…we are not responsible for how another hurts us…but… we have a choice on how to act towards an act of dishonor towards us. That choice will be our ultimate prison or our emancipation. There are bad people out there, people who do not care how much they hurt others but we have the power to stop allowing other peoples’ actions to dictate the trajectory and quality of our lives. That moment of oppression by someone else is always a passing moment…always…its gone in the moment… but the shackles…the continuation of oppression by the same oppressor whether in our minds or in their action is what we have power over because the oppressor has revealed to us already what pain they are capable of inflicting on us. They have shown us their stripes. This revelation is not one to demean you, but to empower you. You cant change your past, but you can control your future.

I have seen the power of the mind play out in my own life very strongly. I have been a victim of so many unfortunate events, but i have been my own perpetual oppressor as well. I have seen events that happened to me donkey years ago that still sit on the throne of the basis of my decision making and they still continue to govern my life choices. Moving away from the obvious oppressor who is usually in the form of a person, I remember vividly in grade 6 i was in a public speaking competition that i thought i had slayed. But i did not come first, second or even 3rd and i started to question my ability as a public speaker. For anyone who knows of my childhood years, i was the ultimate public speaker. Yes i was!!! I would perform the poem ” I think mice are rather nice” to death lool or perform the phrases of the song “All things bright and beautiful…” poetically, confidently with no desire to search for cues of approval from my audiences’ faces. I would just perform the hell out of it and know in my core that i shook the heavens and i found myself in early leadership positions because of that confidence within me. In my head i was good and that was all i needed to make it a reality. This was from when i was as young as kindergarten age but the decision by the teachers at that event in grade 6,to not choose me in that moment, made me feel like i was a horrible public speaker from then on. That one bad moment triumphed over all the 100 other good moments and till this day i believe im a better writer than i am a speaker yet i fell in love with spoken word first before i fell in love with written prose. Its been perpetuated in my head and my fears have exaggerated the actual incident and made it bigger than it originally was.

I have read so many financially emancipating books…more than i can count and i have seen a common thread in them, financial freedom starts in the head. People do not see poverty as an obvious oppressor and yet poverty is a mentality, it all starts in the head. If it wasn’t a mental battle, then how do we explain those who were able to free themselves from the grasp of lack. How many billionaires came from nothing? Most of them. The best way to help a starving child, is to educate them first that there is no need to starve before we show them how not to starve. The mindset of their financial blueprint has to be completely shaken for it to be long lasting, otherwise even with the tools to free themselves from starvation within grasp, they would still starve. If we trace back a lot of our problems, the seed of perpetual lasting oppression stays rooted within our minds.

I leave you with this question, who…what have you blamed for your misfortune or pain for so long? Even if you do not agree with me that your mind is the ultimate oppressor, at least take the time to hypothesize that it is…then what difference will it make to how you live your life from then on with that mindset? Total accountability for your life…total control, less hopelessness and more bravery…maybe?

Just maybe…

One thought on “Songs of freedom…”

  1. Interesting…I agree we are our own worst enemy. We see only ugly when we hold the mirror up to ourselves. Listen to Njema by Winky, it’s the same idea but at a national level, but your intention of mental freedom is the same. Nicely written! What are your shackles??


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