What does freedom mean to you?
For those who live in the United States, this has been a week of celebration celebrating our freedom as a nation but I believe it is deeper than that. We, each one of us, have something that is even more valuable and that is the freedom to feel joy, love, acceptance and our own individualized sense of simply being okay with whom we are right this moment. Those feelings belong to all human beings for it originates on the inside of us and permeates outwardly especially when the environment that surrounds us is safe.
No one can take that away from you. In truth, you are the only one who can make you feel less than; I believe that simple thought is awe-inspiring. Freedom for me may be completely different than it is for another because we place different values on the word and it depicts different meanings. I realize that in some parts of the world, the word freedom takes on many different expressions due to the circumstances that surround them. In America, we do not have to worry about the size of our family, the number of children, where we are allowed to live, worship or work. That conversation while important is not what I am seeking to discuss. Rather, I would like to open the door to thoughts about your mental freedom.
What is mental freedom, you might ask? For me, it means opening my heart and soul to bask in the sunlight of Creation. You may think that that statement and state is surreal, but it is a state that I realize I need to experience on a regular basis if I want to feel more happiness, more good health and more content. Those three feelings are vital for my personal state of well-being.
When I worry and fret and start to think about all the lack that surrounds my life, and me I take myself out and set myself up with anxiety, stress and pains in my stomach. I then find myself saying: "For heaven's sake, why am I doing this to me?"
Freedom is more than a word or an idea or a desire, for me it is a state of mind where I experience inner peace and contentment because I truly know that everything is working out for my highest and best good. It is a place where I truly know that God has never deserted me and where I truly know that I have never been in lack because I have been blessed; and if I am truly blessed then I truly have a great deal to be thankful for in this life. So my understanding of ���Freedom' is most definitely wrapped around how I feel and how I allow my perceptions to mold and shape my life. It allows me to envision a broader view, which in turn open my heart so I can rethink my life and my journey.
I am discovering that freedom allows me to release from the shackles that bind my mind. Only I have the power to change my mind and only I have the power to control my mind. No prisoner of war could be broken or destroyed if they were able to keep their mind sound and strong. Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years and during all those years, he maintained a strong mind; his captors had the power to control his body but not his mind.
So I leave you today to think about what this simple word means to you. There is a lot of power in this word and it is up to each one of us to choose whether we are truly free to experience our greatness or doomed to be held down because we gave our power away.
Joan Marie Ambrose