Existential Psychology

Freedom is Paradoxical

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“Freedom is only necessity understood.”
– William James

In existential psychology we focus a lot on freedom and self-actualization. We know that no matter what, we always retain the freedom to react emotionally and intellectually to our situations as we see fit, even when we can do nothing to change them. And most of us in the West have many choices, far more than we know what to do with. We feel flabbergasted about which route we should choose to live our personal definition of the good life.

The paradox of freedom is that with full information about your various choices and how they will affect your self-actualization, you are  relegated to choosing the one that will best get the job done of helping you become who you really are. When we come full circle in thinking about existential freedom what we feel is no-freedom, that relentless pull to choose the path that is right for us.

When we choose right correct path, we are yoked to it but our burden is light. The unbearable burden results from living a life that is foreign to us, retaining our freedom to choose the wrong path because it seems easier. However difficult your journey is you will be able to bear it if you know it is your way to self-actualization, and however easy it is it will seem unbearable if you know it’s not.