Freedom is living life the way it is meant to be lived.
You are free! Right? If you are reading this blog right now, I am guessing you are what most people consider free. You aren’t locked away somewhere, or held captive, and you aren’t fighting a war against tyranny. You are either sitting at your desk, at home on the couch, or sipping a latte in a cafe. You are free to get up and move around if you want to. You don’t have to ask to go to the bathroom, and you can probably decide to eat whatever it is you want for lunch.
I’ve been thinking a lot about freedom, especially with the 4th of July just a couple days away. No matter how many haters there are out there, I know I’ve been blessed to grow up in a country where freedom is as easy as breathing. It’s not something I think about that often, because it’s as common as getting up in the morning.
I could go on about how blessed we are here, and how some countries don’t experience the type of freedom we do in the States, but I want to take it a step further. Even though we live in a country where we are “free”, most of us do not live as if we are free.
At the opposite end of freedom is fear.
I am going to make a guess about your life, I am going to guess that no matter how brave you are, there is something in your life that holds you captive by fear. How can I make that guess when I don’t even know you? Because I know myself, and I am human, so I am going to guess we are the same. We both have something that holds us back from being completely free to do what we need to in life.
Fear is the opposite of freedom. Who would we be if we were completely free? If we were free of the fear of people not accepting us? Free of negative thoughts? Free to accept ourselves the way we are? Free of the fear of getting hurt? Free of the fear of losing something or someone? Free of the fear of being ordinary?
What would we do with our lives if we were completely fearless? When I say fearless I am not talking about jumping off a building or getting so close to the edge you fall, I am not talking about being suicidal. I am talking about simply being who you know you’re supposed to be or doing what you know you are called to do without fearing the obstacles, the failure, or the people who won’t accept you.
Freedom is not just about having an independence day, it’s about having a mind independent from fear.
Think about this: if you were completely free to be who you are, would you say what you think? If you didn’t fear people, failure, or your boss, what would you say and do differently? How would you act? What job would you take? Who would you talk to? Who would your friends be? If you didn’t fear people, would you stand up more for what was right? Would you stop others from being bullied? If you didn’t fear losing your job, would you be less stressed at work?
Having a mind independent from fear will influence the way you act. You will be free to love people, without the fear of them not loving you back. If you fear people not loving you, you will not feel free to love people. Fear paralyzes, but freedom liberates.
How do you get a mind free from fear? A mind that is truly free? I think the path might look different for each person, but I think most of us first have to acknowledge the fear in our life. If you don’t know it’s there how do you tell it to go? Acknowledge the fear, and then take your thoughts captive. Any fearful thought you have replace them with thoughts of freedom.
It’s quite possible that your thoughts are so fearful you might not even know what thoughts of freedom are.
Fear of failure: “I would love to do that, but I’d never be good enough and would only fail if I tried.”
Fear of being different: “They would never talk to someone like me.”
Fear of being disliked: “I can’t be friends with them, they might not like me.” “People will think I am weird if I am myself.”
Fear of being made fun of:”I can’t say something right now, people won’t get it.”
Fear of being misunderstood: “I wish I hadn’t said that, they don’t understand me.”
Fear of change: “I would never quit the job I hate, what else would I do?”
“Failing is learning, it’s a process, and I will keep trying till I succeed.”
“I am going to talk to them, I am a conversation ninja.”
“People aren’t thinking about me all the time, only I think about me all the time, so what I think about me is more important than what people think about me.”
“I want to be friends with them, my friendship has value.”
“They need to hear what I have to say, even if it makes them uncomfortable.”
“My words have meaning and are powerful.”
“My life is valuable, and if I need to change to make progress I will, and nothing will stop me.”
I hope as you celebrate this week and you are able to get clarity on what your fears are and how you can become free from them. Even if it is just acknowledging them, writing them down, and then thinking about how to confront them and letting them go. Here’s to becoming completely free in all aspects of life!
Talk to you soon,