This weekend as the United States celebrated its 245th birthday, I was struck by and seemingly surrounded by thoughts and messages of freedom. I confess to being a sentimental patriot. On Saturday I participated as a walking marshall in a local 4th of July parade. As we approached the end of the route, the crowd swelled significantly. , The patriotic music from my Rotary Club’s float that I was walking beside started playing The Battle Hymn of the Republic. And I became misty-eyed.
So many thoughts were racing through my head at once that I was incredibly grateful for. First and foremost, how wonderful it was to be able to even be out in public at a 4th of July celebration after nearly 18 months of quarantining and sheltering at home. The joy on the faces of everyone – from young children to senior citizens was just beautiful to me at that moment. And with the Hymn playing in the background, I found myself thanking God for the freedoms I and that we all enjoy.
So, as most of us return to our normal lives this week, I hope to encourage you to carry some of the patriotism we experienced last weekend with you at least a little farther into this week. My thoughts about freedom are not new or perhaps even revelatory, however, as with every good thought, action, or idea, they earn the right to be repeated as often as possible and to remain top of mind for as long as possible.
One of the definitions in my dictionary app says, “the power to determine action without restraint.” I love this. If we are truly going to accept the freedom that we have, there are many facets to that fact that we should acknowledge. First, you, I, we all, have the power! Nothing controls us, nothing holds us back and nothing can stop us if our intent is pure. No matter what you have done up to today, you have the power today to define, or redefine, your life. It is within your power to do so. Continuing along those thought lines, we all can determine what actions we will take. If this doesn’t excite, inspire, and motivate you, I would challenge you to thoughtfully reread the definition again.
The final thought above is that we can do all of these things without restraint. We are under no control, supervision, or scrutiny to become anything and everything that we want to be! Perhaps again I should say so long as your intentions are in the right place. Obviously, if your actions interfere with the freedom of others, then we may have to rethink it. But if we accept what freedom truly is, we have unlimited opportunities to better ourselves and our corners of the world.
My next area of focus is to encourage you to live in your freedom. What I mean by this is simply that each and every day we all should make a conscious decision to live our best lives. Yesterday is history and tomorrow s a mystery, but by what you do today you absolutely can and will define how tomorrow goes. My point is, life is too short to stay stuck or unwilling to move forward and even (gasp), to fail again in an effort to break free from whatever is holding you back. Choose today to live in the freedom you have to grow and experience life more fully. I cannot guarantee you will be successful but I am confident that you will live a more full life.
Finally, let us embrace the freedom that we all enjoy. To go from living to embracing in my mind means to go “all in.” To cut the ropes that keep us tied to the docks of our lives and to experience the exhilaration, unpredictability, and yes, even danger of the open seas of our world. If you are like me and you enjoy being comfortable and having a predictable existence, this is a scary thought. Not that I have attained it, but I have put myself in a more vulnerable place than I ever have by allowing myself to get out of my comfort zone in the last couple of years. Have I made some mistakes? Have I been scared? Have I tried things and failed? Yes, yes, and yes! But I feel more free and liberated than I ever have at any other time in my life.
Freedom, in my estimation, means something different to each one of us. In spite of that, the acceptance of it, the living of it, and the embracing of it is something each one of us should strive for. You woke up this morning with an opportunity to define what freedom means to you and what it will mean to other people because you intentionally made the choice to make it a part of your life every day.
Did you enjoy this article? If you haven’t already, please be sure to subscribe to this blog, where I post every Tuesday. You can also get additional free content by subscribing to my YouTube channel or following me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn.
I also invite you to review my coaching page on my website here. I have only a couple of spots left in my Personal Development Coaching Practice. Each week I offer two free strategy sessions on a first-come, first-served basis to people interested in exploring how to become a person who pursues their goals and dreams. These precious hour-long sessions prove again and again to be invaluable to those who participate. You can book these directly on my coaching page – I look forward to serving you.