What It Means to Live Free
Updated: Jul 1
On the Fourth of July, we celebrate our freedom and independence as a nation.
I was reflecting today about what it means to fully claim the freedom we've been given.
In America, we have been offered the foundations for true personal freedom, yet many of us live confined by our thoughts and perceptions about ourselves, others, and the world and often are held back by our fears. We have given away our power to choose our own path…or forgotten that we once held that power.
It's easy to do. Many people don't truly realize the power they hold until they have to fight the thoughts that imprison them. That becomes a deeply personal battle that most of us have to wage at some point. We have been given an inheritance of personal freedom, passed down from the founding fathers, but we have to step up and claim it, which usually involves a battle on the emotional fronts of our lives.
What about you? Are you really free?
Free to make mistakes, take chances, learn, be creative, and forge your own path?
Free from feeling trapped by the pressure or expectations of others for who you will be?
Free to choose work that you find meaningful instead of following the path that others expect of you?
Free to live as yourself, comfortable in all your imperfect authenticity and not governed by the approval of others or the fear of rejection?
Free from a fear of being alone that can chain you to unhealthy relationship patterns but instead able to value the relationship you have with yourself?
Free to choose how you spend your time, unafraid to ask for help when you need it, and able to delegate tasks as needed?
Free from addictions that reduce your ability to make choices about your life and health?
Free to give to others because you want to, not because you feel you have to?
Free from fears and anxieties that confine you to only a small, known comfort zone?
Free from feeling overrun by your emotions in ways that harm your relationships?
If you might not be as free as you think, maybe there is still another battle toward independence to be fought...and won.
What does it mean to live free? For me, it means being free physically, mentally, and emotionally to make your own choices about who you are and how you will live within the confines of laws, community, and general human decency. It means choosing how you will show up in relationship, both in valuing others and yourself. It means determining the kind of legacy you want to leave.
If you were to write your own Declaration of Independence, what would you declare yourself free from? How will you know when you are truly free?