Freedom and betrayal

“Suffering is easier than allowing to heal”

Bert Hellinger

Freedom, we talk about it so easily, as if it were the supreme good. But if that were the case, why don’t people feel much more free? There must be good reasons for this!

And treason, why is that such a burdened word? And do we rather whisper the word than say it out loud? Does that have anything to do with World War II (at least in the Netherlands) where betrayal cost the lives of many people or at least their freedom?

Freedom is also a theme for me, Jan Jacob, all my life. One of the reasons I felt I had to leave the Dutch Hellinger Institute that I founded twenty years ago, is that I wanted my freedom back. I can’t make it prettier or uglier than that. And saying, “I’m leaving …” felt like betrayal.

What I know about betrayal is that it is an expression of powerful life energy from the evolutionary force. That is that force that tells you what life wants from and with you. An energy that is so strong that it can pull you out of existing systems. Systems where you are bound. Systems that have made you who you are today. Systems you love or hate. This form of betrayal pulls you out of a system, because life wants more from you. You’re going. With this movement freedom increases.

Then there is another form of betrayal. That is the betrayal where you want to destroy another or the system of another. You stay, and you intend the other or the other system to go. The effect of this form of betrayal is that it takes away and destroys freedom.

It is unfortunate, confusing, but probably no coincidence that both forms of betrayal are referred to by the same word.

What I know about freedom is that it ‘burdens’ you with obligations. When you are free, you have to do something with your life. To begin with, take responsibility for your life. And that is genuinely not always pleasant. Suddenly you have to make decisions for which there are no rules or algorithms. Every decision is a little test of life, without knowing whether you will pass or fail. Freedom means facing the risk of failure. You are “on your own” in freedom. You are your own moral compass. In this sense, freedom makes you lonely.

What does freedom require? Reclaiming some skills and abilities that may have been outsourced long ago.

  • The ability to decide.
  • The ability to take responsibility.
  • The ability to use one’s own moral and ethical compass.
  • The ability to love unconditionally.
  • The ability to trust.
  • The ability to see everything you experience as yóur experiences.
  • The ability to recognize any state of mind you are in as a result of conscious or unconscious decisions in or about your life.
  • The ability to be different, and so on. Which ones exactly apply to you is something to investigate for yourself.

Pffffff ….. being bound, even if it feels unfree, is often easier than being free. An additional advantage of staying bound is that you do not have to betray and you can continue to feel innocent.

What is Courage?

Courage is taking the freedom to do what needs to be done.

What does it take for a team or family or organization to become free?

That one person within the system is free enough to initiate the movement towards freedom.

Kobarid, Slovenia

August 8, 2020

Jan Jacob Stam