If you live in America, or a country similar to it, aren’t confined to a jail cell, or subject to modern day slavery, you most likely consider yourself to be free. You’re right to a certain extent. You may be free physically, but have you ever stopped to think a little deeper and ask yourself if you’re really free?
Our freedom is not solely determined by the physical chains or servitude that imprison us, or the policies and enforcement practices in place in the country we live in. For those of us that are not literal prisoners, our freedom is impacted by more intangible things - fear, limiting beliefs, jealousy, anxiety, comparison, and other people’s expectations to name a few.
I have grappled all year with the concept of personal freedom and how I can achieve or experience it. Unfortunately, the whole “You are already free [in Christ]” doesn’t make me feel any more free than I already do. I guess I’m just not there yet in my spiritual journey or relationship with God. I’ll chalk it up to me being a normal human being just like everyone else…
Although I may not truly feel it, I definitely want it. The desire to have and experience freedom is so powerful that I adopted it as my #1 core value. It is the driver, the reason, and motivation behind many of my recent actions and decisions this year. I have had to define what it actually means for me today a bit more specifically though.
Up until about a year ago, I only thought of freedom (outside of not being in a jail cell or a slave) as financial freedom - the comfort of knowing that all my expenses are taken care of [via passive income] without having to be employed and earn a paycheck. Financial Freedom meant the ability to choose to work rather than have to. That was the only kind of freedom I was concerned about and the one thing I thought I needed to acquire in order to exit the rat race and live the life I wanted to live.
It’s so much more than that though. I had no idea all the ways in which I was in bondage. When I dug deeper I discovered the extent to which I wasn’t free and all the chains I need to break in order to experience freedom. I’ll admit that I probably haven’t even scratched the surface yet. Anytime I have a break through in one area, I discover something else that I need to break free from. New challenges, changes, and circumstances come with new chains. So I’m sure that 2 years from now I will uncover ways in which I’m holding myself back that I’m not aware of today. It’s a journey just like anything else.
Today, freedom is:
The act of choosing to unapologetically be my whole, authentic self in all situations and all settings.
Pushing beyond the paralyzing and controlling nature of fear to do that which I want to do.
The choice to live out my life and do the unique work I’m called to do in accordance with my values and God’s word even in the face of criticism, judgement, and opposition, and fully trusting that all my needs will be provided for.
Releasing my need for control to whole-heartedly embrace uncertainty and move toward the unknown.
Protecting my heart, mind, and soul, setting boundaries, letting my yes be my yes and my no be my no, and pouring into my own cup all on a guilt free basis.
This is what freedom looks like for me today.
What does freedom look like to you? What steps are you taking to experience it?
Leave me a comment!
Image by Mohamed Nohassi via Unsplash