Finding Freedom

Healing is slow to happen in life if you are without freedom.  I don’t think that anyone is unable to heal from the situations, experiences and memories in their lives if they have freedom.

What is freedom?  When you’re free, you’re able to properly process what happened, seek guidance and support from appropriate individuals and continue living your life by putting the situation, experience and/or memory in your past.  In order to have that freedom, there are two key things to consider.

Freedom from others:  It’s unbelievably difficult to gain freedom if others don’t let us. We shouldn’t have to depend on others to give us our freedom, but so frequently we do need their ‘permission’ to have freedom.  Think of the parents who want you to pursue a certain career or relationship.  They need to give you freedom to pursue something/someone else.  If you’re in a relationship but don’t want to be anymore, your partner needs to give you your freedom to be with someone else.  If you’re at a job you don’t like but your boss won’t let you leave and tries to bribe you to stay, you need their freedom to go.  If you’ve been with the same friends for years and don’t think they’re right for you where you are in your life, you need them to let go of you so you can go onto another part of your life.

Freedom from ourselves: This freedom can often be more difficult than gaining freedom from others.  We have to give ourselves permission to let the people, experiences and memories in our past be no more than memories.  We need to give ourselves permission to lead new lives down new paths with new memories, careers and people.  If we are unable to give ourselves the permission to find freedom from the past, we can’t expect to have any kind of quality future.

What areas of your life do you need to ask for freedom from others or give yourself freedom in?

I encourage you to share your thoughts below.

Love, Life, Laughter!

Today’s insightful quote comes from Katherine Graham.  She said: “To love what you do and feel that it matters, how on earth could anything be more fun!”

Let’s take a look at 3 great points from Katherine about love, mattering in life and fun!

Life is better with love.  Whether it’s love between you and a pet, spouse, partner, child or spiritual love, it’s an essential part of life.  Those who do have love in their lives have happier lives and live longer.  Even if you experience some heartbreak, I think anyone who has ever been in love will agree that it’s better to love and have lost than to not love at all.

As humans we’re all focused on being important to someone.  We all want to feel needed and wanted in our lives.  If you have the opportunity to thank someone or reinforce to someone what they mean to you, how much they matter to you, I encourage you to do so.  I also encourage you to devote some time and money to your passions and things that matter to you (hobbies, groups, games etc).

Finally, not only is life dull without fun, studies have shown lives without fun aren’t as amazing, long or healthy as those who incorporate fun daily.  Take time each day for good laughter, fun activities and smiling at the world.  Don’t be afraid to have fun!  Watch comedies on TV, spend time with people who make you feel happy and you feel good around, take walks or do other exercises, and do things you are passionate about such as crafting or playing with your kids.

It can be challenging when the news and world around you is full of negativity to have fun with life.  The truth is that the more people who try to have fun with life, the easier it will become.  A few people can make a big change if they are positive, love live, live a full live, have fun with life and live their lives with meaning.

I encourage you to share what you love about life, what makes you laugh in life and what gives your life meaning below.

Fulfilling your Purpose

Over the past few weeks I have been sharing about purpose and about living on purpose on my blogs.  I found a great Bible verse that talks about purpose for our conversation today.  It’s from the book of Acts in the New Testament.  Acts 13:36 says “For when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his fathers and his body decayed.”

This verse really excites me because it says two important things about David.  But to give a little background, David was famous for all his military victories, great kingly leadership and amazing friendship with God.  He was known as the man after God’s own heart.   But David did have some challenges relationally with women (Bathsheeba, multiple wives etc), and certainly wasn’t a perfect person.

So what 2 things do we learn from this verse.  1: God had a purpose for David.  God’s got a purpose for each and every one of us.  He set it out before we were born and continues showing us the way to go, if we only take the time to stop, listen and obey.

2: David served his purpose.  David didn’t let his purpose go to waste.  David did all he could to listen to God and to Godly counsel.  As a result, when David died, he had fulfilled his purpose.

Our challenge is two-fold.  First, we have to find our purpose in life.  If we take the time to find our purpose, we will be able to see clearly which of the multitude of opportunities that come our way are in line with our purpose and help us fulfill that purpose.  Second, when you have to make decisions in your life, always choose in favor of your life purpose and passions.

God gave each of us a special purpose on top of serving Him and sharing His message of salvation with the world.  I encourage you to learn and live by your purpose.

Share your life purpose below!

Stepping Up Self-Confidence

One of the most challenging things for people is confidence.  Some people over pretend they are confident, and others have absolutely no confidence in themselves.  My suggestion to you is to not lie about your true confidence, but instead look for assistance in building up your confidence to a healthy level.  As a confident individual, you’re more likely to have friends, be happy, achieve success, and love yourself.  Today I’ve got 3 great resources to share with you about building your confidence.  With each I’ve included a link and highlighted a point or two.

1-MindTools Building Self-Confidence article: This article is not only thorough, it gives you links to additional articles that will help you with other aspects of self-confidence.  There’s a great little chart that will help you differentiate between confidence and low self-confidence, as well as setting and achieving goals.

2-Pick The Brain’s 10 ways to build self-confidence: Of their 10, I especially like their suggestions of watching how you dress, having good posture, and complimenting other people.  Some of the comments at the bottom are also really good.

3-A great article on building Self-Confidence: Not only are there 11 great ideas, including identifying successes, being thankful, and helping others, there’s also a video, some tips and a warning!

Share below what one step you are going to take today to work on your self-confidence!

Fear and Freedom

I’ve been really touched by some of the quotes I’ve been sharing on Twitter lately.  One is from Nelson Mandela, one of my favorite leaders: “As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

This month we’ve been talking about fears in relationships and in our lives quite a bit.  Halloween is a time that we often see movies about fears, things designed to scare us and kids, and celebrate all things scary for a month (really sounds strange doesn’t it!).  This quote reminds me of the guy who goes with all his friends to the haunted house, but instead of being scared, points out all the wires, fake people and tricks and totally ruins the fun of the haunted house for all his friends.

It’s just like this in life.  As you approach and tackle your fears, you can then help others who have the same fears work through them and be liberated (freed) as well.  But rather than ruining the experience for those people, you’re actually given them the opportunity to have an even better life experience because they’re not stuck in their fears!

So just like the guy who knew the tricks of the fun house, I encourage you to look for answers to the things that you fear.  When you find answers, or others help you find answers, not only will you feel free, but you’ll be able to help others because you’re not stuck believing something that isn’t necessary to believe.

Share your thoughts and fears below.

Salt and Light

It’s not always easy to be you is it?  Life is full of challenges, obstacles and hardships.  The truth is that every day we have a choice to make: am I going to live my life in a way that benefits the world, or am I going to drag the world down with me?  I love these verses in Matthew 5 “You are the salt of the earth.  But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor?…You are the light of the world–like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see.  Don’t hide your light under a basket!” (verses 13-15).

Somehow the ocean remains salty day in and day out.  If you asked the people who were alive in 700 bc, they would tell you that the oceans were salty.  Ask your kid brother who drank the ocean while swimming at the beach this past summer, and he’ll tell you it’s salty.  Day in and day out the sun rises.  Even if it’s a cloudy day, peek behind the clouds and you’ll find the sun.  The sun never really goes anywhere, the earth just rotates so part is light and part is dark at all times.

Nether the ocean nor the sun were given a choice if they wanted to be salty or bright, they were just made that way.  You, however, were given a choice.  Sure you could choose to lose your flavor or light and murder people with your words and actions.  But what fun (or good) would that ultimately be?  And even if you think it would be fun for you, the other person won’t be having any fun because of your tasteless words and actions.

I encourage you today to be salt and light.  Share what you said or did to make the world a better place below!

Communication Hesitation

Communication is both the easiest and the hardest way to deal with the situations that stress, challenge and hurt us in life.  Why do we hesitate to communicate sometimes?  Let’s dive into this mystery a bit today.

Usually the first reason we hesitate is fear.  We’re afraid of being judged, afraid of what someone will say to us if we actually tell the truth.  We’re afraid of letting the real us out of the bag.  If you’ve spent your life being the person your parents or spouse wanted you to be, it can be very scary to actually be honest about who you are.  If you’ve lived in a home where you aren’t respected, asking for the respect can be very scary!  Also, if you’re feeling some scary emotions, it can be very hard to talk about them.

So let’s get some things straightened out about those fears.  When someone judges you because of what you said, it’s not your fault.  They’re reacting to their own personal opinions, problems, experiences and struggles in life, not really to you.  Second, being honest about who you are shouldn’t scare us, but it does.  While it’s normal to be nervous about telling someone close to you that you’re not going to follow the plans they have set up for you, but rather you’re going to follow your own, you will ultimately feel better about being honest than about living a lie and going along with what they want. Third, you have every right to be respected and to have powerful emotions.  You can and should be given respect, and be allowed to express any emotions you have.

Beginning to communicate authentically and without hesitation is only a few steps away. Begin with smaller stuff, communicating that you will not be home for dinner because you need time for yourself.  When someone says something you are hurt by or don’t appreciate, tell them gently and kindly that you don’t appreciate those words etc.  Express to people that you’re happy to listen to them talk, but that you expect they will listen to you as well.

As you communicate with your friends, coworkers, and family this week, I encourage you to be more vocal and share what you are feeling.  Share your communication struggles below.