The freedom of Zen is the ability to set down your problems. You can either set down your problems by attaining enlightenment, or, if you can’t wait for that, you can do it now. To set down your problems now, you recognize that your problems are a product of your thinking rather than a product of your environment. Although that knowledge may make it difficult to manage your mind, it makes it easier to handle your environment.
Thinking that a problem is real or not can be the difference between crippling anxiety and freedom. If you are faced with a hungry lion, you have a problem with your environment and you need to act accordingly. When you have escaped to safety, if you are still afraid of the lion, you have a problem with your mind, that problem is not real.
Life situations present you with a choice of action. Most of these choices we interpret as problems. The freedom comes when you learn to act without imagining that the situation demanding your action is good or bad. If the lion eats you, you’re lion food, good for the lion, bad for you. Problems come when you think the situation is bad and the idea of bad interferes with your action. This applies to all of your problems. You can deal with anything. You are free.