Freedom. A ubiquitous desire. Freedom of choice. Freedom of speech. Freedom to do.
How about the freedom of thought? Or even better, freedom FROM thoughts?
At times, our lives are spent in the emotional shackles of our negative self-talk and self-limiting beliefs. They keep us confined to a perception of self that chains us to a false sense of security.
They keep us "safe" by providing certainty, even though the certainty certainly doesn't serve us. Those thoughts and beliefs have good intentions, as they're rooted in our safety, our security, our "survival," even if they feel senseless.
They reveal themselves in many different ways–staying in a job for too long, doing what we "should" be doing, avoiding what superficially scares (challenges) us. They keep us from exploring, from moving against societal norms, from moving on from our acquired beliefs to more truthful ones. They keep us in hiding, avoiding, and denying the freedoms that emerge when stepping out of the shadowy confines of our safety-seeking protection zones in which we're satiated by the emotions of fear, insecurity, scarcity, and survival.
Freedom starts from the awareness and acceptance of these constraints.
Accepting their existence allows us to see something new. It frees our focus to see them not as our own, not as "us," but as the shackles they are. Acceptance is the catalyst for moving towards them, questioning them, and coming to understand them as conditioned thoughts and beliefs that we didn't ask for, that we didn't sign up for, that simply feel "off."
This awareness and acceptance is the key to freedom.
Acquiring the key is a courageous act because it challenges us to step beyond the fortress of protection that is our current system of thoughts and beliefs. We're taking a stand against our internal oppressor(s), who, in reality, just happen to be as scared, as insecure, and as much desiring leadership from us!
Seeking this freedom comes with a cost–feeling the vulnerability, risk, uncertainty–all of which we typically try to avoid. The emotions that represent vulnerability, risk, uncertainty and accompany our negative self-talk and self-limiting beliefs are the energy that keeps the key from turning and unlocking our restraints.
Theses emotional cues are incongruent freedom fighters intended to get our attention to pay attention, to find freedom in feeling, but by feeling different. When our emotions change from survival to thriving, everything follows. How we think, how we believe, how we behave. That's what turns the key and frees us.
Turn the key. We have the innate strength to do so–in the curiosity of our thought/belief incongruence; in our capacity to perceive them differently; in our courage to leave the old for something new.
Think of what this freedom will do for us. Imagine the possibility.
Now, feel it. Feel the difference.
Freedom is a personal responsibility. Freedom is an opportunity. Freedom is a feeling.
Tomorrow, July 4th, we'll celebrate freedom as a nation and those that have and continue to make it so. Remember to account for the wonderful world within us waiting to be freed. Doing so would be worth celebrating.
Doing so is how we human, better.
Have a fun, safe holiday!