What does it really mean to be free? It’s November 9th today. In two days, we will be observing Remembrance Day in Canada. Like Memorial Day in the US,
it’s a day set aside to remember the brave men and women who gave their lives for our freedom during the first and second World Wars. For most of us, it is just another statutory holiday.
Freedom is one of my top 5 core values.Here is what freedom means. It may resonate with you. And what can we do to honor our freedoms?
Freedom from your thoughts
Freedom from your thoughts means getting out of your head and into your heart! This ‘monkey brain’ inhabits all of us at some point in our lives. It is destructive and keeps us bound.
Observe your thoughts but don’t get pulled into them. Meditate to gently release them. Or write them down — putting your thoughts to paper is an effective way to release them from your mind.
Freedom from your patterns and conditioning
If you want freedom from any pattern — thoughts, behaviors, judgments, and addictions — you must break free this programming and envision and a new way of being.
Freedom to be
Your identity — the way you perceive yourself — is often a result of your conditioning and the messages you heard while growing up. Once you break from these chains, you get to choose who you want to be. Now, practice the feeling of being that person and start to embody her/him.
Freedom from the fear of judgment
Realize that other people’s judgment of you is nothing you should ever take personally! They could be projections of where they are at. It is easier said than done but there is tremendous freedom from not taking personally anything anyone says or does to you.
Freedom from your past
This is a big one. It’s not easy letting go of the past. But it is the only way forward. Remember, your past does not define you — don’t give it energy if you truly want the future to be different.
Freedom from the future
Don’t be so focused on the future you forget to savor the present moment — because this moment is all you’ve got! It’s about remembering to ‘smell the roses.’ Be present for yourself and those aound you. It’s how relationships are built.
Freedom from regret
Forgive yourself for your mistakes. We all make mistakes and we all need self-compassion. It’s the beginning of compassion for others.
Freedom to respond
Instead of reacting to everything that is said and done to you, practice pausing and responding kindly. I suspect, honoring this freedom will result in a lot less regret!
Holocaust survivor and psychotherapist, Dr. Viktor Frankl, author of “Man’s Search for Meaning” said it perfectly, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
Freedom to feel
Allow yourself the freedom to feel the whole range of human emotions — it’s what makes you HUMAN!
Freedom from being stuck in those emotions!
Yes, go ahead and feel the whole range of emotions — acknowledge and observe them. And then decide how you will move through them. But don’t get stuck in the muck!
Freedom from the need to control
Nothing is promised — not even another day! You can steer your life but you can’t control every outcome. The sooner you accept this, the freer you’ll be. It doesn’t mean falling for everything around you. Neither does it negate the value of being intentional.
Hold on to your dreams and goals but don’t hang on to the process of how it unfolds. Allow miracles into your life. Even the most skeptical of us have on occasion been blown but something powerful shows up when least expected!
Allow for life to flow.
Freedom from expectations
Do you find that people are constantly disappointing you? Get clear with what you value and align with those values. Vibrate in alignment with who you really are and you will attract the people aligned with how you vibrate. But realise, no one is perfect.
What does it really mean to be free?
As I observe Remembrance Day, the true meaning of freedom compels me. Freedom is something we, in the free world, so easily take for granted. But freedom is more than having the chance to vote or not being behind bars. There is nothing more liberating than embodied freedom. Freedom for me is being the full-expression of who you are and all that you were meant to be. Enjoy your freedom! And don’t ever take it for granted!
P.S. If you want to know what your top 5 core values are, do complete a Values Assessment.
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