This Fourth of July as we are grateful for the freedoms we enjoy, perhaps we would do well to think about the freedoms we don’t currently have, but would like? What about the freedoms we are able to give to ourselves by fighting social and cultural pressures? Freedom from owning so much? Freedom from dwelling on negative emotions or freedom from an unhealthy lifestyle? Freedom from consumer debt? What personal freedoms can you fight for?
Freedom from stuff. You may not look at this as a battle, but it is. Our culture’s consumerism mentality contributes to confusion between wants and needs, entitlement issues among adults and children, as well as keeping us slaves to our belongings. We work for money, use the money to buy things, spend our free time taking care of those things, and sooner rather than later, stop using the item. The consumer driven lifestyle is definitely something to free ourselves from so we can focus on the things in life that truly make us happy.
Freedom from negative emotions. It’s easier said than done to let go of negative emotions that have arisen over careless comments made by loved ones, judgments passed by co-workers or even a rude comment or gesture from someone in passing. If we give ourselves permission to let go of the indignation we feel, we free ourselves from the stress and negativity that seeps into other areas of our lives, taking control. Find freedom in letting go of negativity.
Freedom from unhealthy habits. Addictions and habits control us and are not healthy, no matter what form they are in. Eating addictions, exercise addictions, smoking, not enough sleep, there are so many unhealthy habits and addictions there for the taking. They bind us and control us, causing our lives to revolve around their schedules. Freeing yourself from these unhealthy habits can take time, effort and possibly require outside help, but the end result will be control over your own life and increased freedom.
Freedom from consumer debt. Debt is one of the worst things that strangles our personal freedom. When we are slaves to debt, namely consumer debt, we are bound to our jobs not just to pay for basic living expenses, but also to pay for items we most likely didn’t need, including the interest that is now charged to us on top of the original cost. Many of the purchase we get in debt for are made to give the illusion that we are in a higher economic bracket, or more financially sound than is true. Don’t become bound to working to pay back an illusion. Claim your freedom and live as you truly are and within your means.
Contrary to popular belief, freedom isn’t free. Our access to freedom may not be perfect in this country, but it is better than any other alternatives as far as I’m concerned. With my basic freedoms intact, I can be thankful for the other freedoms I also enjoy on a regular basis. These freedoms I can give to myself in an effort to better my life, just as the early inhabitants of our nation fought for their freedom and a better life for themselves and their posterity.