Men are not free when they are doing just what they like. Men are only free when they are doing what the deepest self likes. And there is getting down to the deepest self! It takes some diving.
So often, us silly humans have difficult feelings or realizations about ourselves that we'd almost rather not see. You might find yourself becoming self-critical or punitive in trying to cope with those realizations. Interestingly, it's the harshness with which you may treat yourself that spirals the situation downward.
If you were trying to coax tiny, baby, scared puppies from behind the couch, would you yell at them? Tell them they're bad, wrong or worthless? If you were being strategic, you'd probably speak softly and gently to decrease their fear, making them much more likely to reveal themselves to you.
Working with feelings can be like coaxing puppies from behind the couch; they will often hide if they fear put-downs or stingy behavior. Helped to calm and relax they can more easily emerge and be dealt with. You can't work with what you can't see.
Combine your thinking brain with your body signals. Pose the request to yourself and then listen to your body. Do you feel tightness? Tension? A sense of openness? What does your breath do; does it deepen? Does it become shallow? Do you notice holding the breath? The body never lies.