An important distinction
In exploring freedom it's useful to note the distinction between 'freedom from' versus 'freedom to'.
"freedom from anger, fear, want, hunger, pain, disease, stress, depression, debt, poverty, necessity, violence, war, advertising, addiction, etc."
"freedom to live, love, think, believe, talk, share, travel, buy, sell, act, create, share etc."
Freedom from oppression in its many forms is vital for living a great life. Whether it's freedom from addiction, from coercion, from co-dependency or from grasping after desire, the freedom to do as you choose and to create your own destiny relies on throwing off the shackles that bind and limit your freedom to think, feel and act.
Freedom to make up your own mind. Freedom to choose what you want. Freedom to live in whatever life enhancing way you desire. This is what you must fight for in your life.
A balancing act
Of course, as Sully pointed out in his thought provoking blog interview on Freedom, we all choose to give up certain social freedoms in order to gain other freedoms in exchange: "...we all give up some freedom/choice to gain security. Laws are just such a social contract (e.g. I'll give up my freedom to rob you for the security that you won't rob me)." There is always a trade and a balance.
Maintain your freedom
But for you to maintain as much 'freedom to' you need to ensure you have and continuously keep your 'freedom from'. Watch this carefully.
If you allow yourself to become addicted to any substance, thing or behaviour you have given away your freedom. This is a trade that is not balanced. It's a one way street to misery and is ultimately life denying.
If you give away choice or lock yourself into double-binds, then you have taken away more of your precious freedom.
So I encourage you to watch for and guard assiduously your 'freedom from' and in that way you'll keep your choices open and maximise your flexibility - your 'freedom to'.
It's a subtle distinction this difference between freedom from and to. But it's a life enhancingly crucial one.
"He is free who knows how to keep in his own hands the power to decide."
Salvador de Madariaga
wishing you life enhancing choices,
Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life
Beyond Freedom & Dignity - B. F. Skinner