Freedom. This word makes me think Dr. Frankel who wrote the book called “A Mans Search For Meaning”.
He was enslaved by Nazis. They killed his family. Starved and tortured him. He witnessed the most horrific atrocities imaginable… daily.
He survived and was set free… in his book he said that although “others” can beat, starve torture you…. You are still FREE TO CHOOSE how you will respond to it.
And there is the freedom.
I meet people who tell me about the horrors they endured years, sometimes decades ago and yet they are still NOT free.
Even in the now time… a bad moment in an otherwise normal day and the prison door slams! The day is ruined. Freedom lost.
All because the reaction WE CHOSE causes us to constrict in pain, fear, rage, rebellion…
We run toward the facade the illusion of escape… alcohol, drugs of any kind, food, sex, risk, work, tv… whatever ours is. We all have something. A distraction. Like cutting the top off a weed… looks good for a minute or days or weeks… but in time… it always pops back up.
To me FREEEEEEEEEEDOM is expanded, light, airy, sunny, a beautiful sunrise, puppy kisses, children laughing, a campfire on the shore, fancy hotel sheets… shooting stars on a dark summer night… All the best in life! Singing a little song as you walk down the road after the best time with your friends…
The opposite is constriction. Anticipating the worst about to happen. Dread. Every cell on high alert. A mind spinning with WHAT IFS. Its awful.
You could be on vacation someplace heavenly and it could feel like hell in your skin. Wherever we go… there we are. Always.
The key to freedom is in our choose of response. Do we run or stand in it.
Well its not that clear cut. For me its been kinda both.
First I am committed to the highest and best response so I can be free. It may just take a minute.
- I recognize my reaction to whatever it is… a bad dream, a date on a calendar, a conversation, something I saw on the news, an interaction w someone…
- I go to questioning myself. Whats happening in my body? Whats the story Im making up? What the emotions born out of the story? Inquiry is so powerful.
- IS THE STORY TRUE? Ok so this question is loaded and an excellent self growth tool. Check out thework.com for a deeper dive.
- How do I behave when I believe my story?
- Is that behavior in alignment with who I want to be and how I want my life to be?
- Since Im the writer of my story… what if I made up a different story that made me feel and behave the way that IS in alignment with who I want to be?
- What do I need? A shrink (past) a coach (now/future focused) Resources like EMDR, tapping, hypnotherapy, time w a trust friend? Rest? A ritual like the burning bowl?
- Reveal it, feel it, heal it…move on. I LOVE the book “Untethered soul” for this part.
- Where focus goes…energy flows… What IS working? COULD work? I love a gratitude journal on the night stand. All this technology and yet nothing is a groovy as actually writing all things that went RIGHT that day in your journal before sleep. Powerful.
- WHY. This is a blah blah blah without being clear on WHY you want FREEEEEEEEDOM! Go to you tube and look up the 45 min video by Dean Grazio called 7 layers deep. You can thank me later.
The picture is me and two of my beloved grandchildren on Sebago Lake at sunset. The day was filled with child like fun and adventure. We played and laughed. We were “all in” the now moment. We were FREE.