Change Your Story - Change Your Life: 4 Keys to Finding Freedom
Updated: Sep 18, 2019
Freedom doesn’t come from having the best job, best relationship, more money or accomplishments. It’s much more basic than that and more within your control.
“Well, I know it wasn't you who held me down. Heaven knows it wasn't you who set me free. So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains and we never even know we have the key… “
“When you blame others for your negative feelings, you are being ignorant. When you blame yourself for your negative feelings, you are making progress. You are being wise when you stop blaming yourself or others.” Epicurus 341–270 BC
Who knew the Eagles and Epicurus would be offering such similar messages centuries apart? Somehow I’m surprised that people struggled with personal responsibility in the days of Epicurus. I tend to think of that as a more recent development. But I guess people are people. I think this key is one of the hardest for us to grasp and live out even though everyone would agree with the concept. Taking personal responsibility for your life, including your responses to others who have hurt you, is the fastest path to freedom.
“Freedom comes from diving deeply within and knowing who you truly are.” Amy Leigh Mercree, author
We all have blind spots. Since we are blind to them it is challenging to become aware of them. If you don’t feel content or free, I would bet you have blind spots that need your attention. Spend time in kind and honest self reflection daily. Review moments that were challenging and rather than focus on what you wish someone else had done differently, see if you can learn something about yourself.
“When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light, for your life and strength. Give thanks for your food, and the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies with yourself." - Tecumseh, Shawnee Chief 1769-1813
As I've written in a previous blog, the most life giving and energizing emotion is when you feel grateful for something. Conversely, when you’re wishing for something that you don’t have it can be just the opposite. Tecumseh, a Shawnee Chief in the late 1700s, combines the wisdom of thanksgiving with personal responsibility. Its interesting that at a time when the American Indians were under much stress and upheaval that he would be quoted as saying that if you see no reason for thanks, the fault lies with yourself. Wow, I don't know if I could have been that focused on personal responsibility under those conditions, but I greatly admire the sentiment, I also like that he suggests that you begin each day with gratitude.
Unfortunately, as I've written previously, the negatives grab at our attention and most of have to look for the positives with more intention. Spend some time every day acknowledging things that you can feel grateful.
“I’ve been fighting voices in my head that say I’m not enough.” Lauren Daigle, You Say
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:3
Believing in a power bigger than themselves provides a great sense of freedom and grounding for many people. Sharing burdens in life with this power can greatly ease the pressure. Also truth provides freedom. Consider the truth about yourself with kindness and awareness as Epicurus and Lauren Daigle say and you will find greater freedom.
I am currently publishing a book titled I'm Not Good Enough: How the Stories You Tell Yourself are Ruining Your Life. By following my blog, you will be notified when it is ready for purchase. I would love to hear from you. Please scroll down to the bottom of this page (past the banner of recent posts) to leave a comment.