The only obstacle one has to truly being free is themselves and until you face yourself, true freedom is something that will always be out there in the next book, program, good deed, relationship, pill, drink, self help method or whatever else is reached for.
Consider life as water and emotions as a flood, if you’re on low ground you will be overcome by the flood waters (emotions), but if you’re on high ground the same flood water will come, but the way it affects you will have a much different outcome. This is what happens when a person faces themselves, you are naturally put on higher ground which builds up a defense against your emotional flood water. Without facing yourself there will be no defense against the flood water because you will be stuck on lower ground and on lower ground when the flood water arises, some form of destruction will be the result and the severity of the flood (emotional attachment) determines the destruction.
The flood water only affects what’s on lower ground, and our lower nature manifest as emotional attachments. The destructiveness of this attachment is determined by what is reached for, drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, food, and so on. Although not everything reached for is destructive, some have much more destructive potential than others. If one doesn’t face themselves there won’t be awareness of either the destructive or the subtle things reached for. To me, the key is facing yourself because it puts you on higher ground so when the flood water comes it has less affect on you. This is the value of facing and understanding yourself, it allows you to not be flooded emotionally by circumstances that occur. Although the flood water will arise, because you are on higher ground you aren’t affected like the person who’s stuck on lower ground and is reaching out there for a life preserver, in whatever form that may be.