Are love and freedom opposites?

I recently led a yoga retreat to Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. The group energy was perfect, the scenery was stunning, we were all adopting the Guatemalan habit of slowing down to fully experience beauty. Best of all, I was watching people's hearts open as they came to know and love themselves more deeply.

(If you were there, know that I was in awe and appreciation of you the whole time.)

Several times I had the thought, "I wish I could do this more than once a year. But I can't, because of my kids."

I love my kids. At 9 and 6, they're a source of joy, laughter, and the deepest possible satisfaction. Still, it's undeniable that having kids restricts one's freedom.

Really, every human relationship restricts our freedom, doesn't it? When you're in a relationship with someone else, you have to consider their needs, not just your own. You can't just go do whatever you want. You have to think about how it will impact them. And so we give up some of our freedom to have love.

At least, we give up some of our outer freedom. With our inner freedom, it's a different story. Inner freedom is never constrained by love. Inner freedom is, if anything, enhanced by love. It leads us into new territories, showing us parts of ourselves we might never have discovered otherwise, and leading us to expand ever farther.

Love restricts our freedom to do, but increases our freedom to be.

And that, my friends, is a worthwhile tradeoff.

May your life be rich in love, adventure, and possibility.