Independence Day. The day the United States celebrates her declaration of freedom.
Make this your personal Independence Day.
What do you need to be free of? What’s holding you back? What can you let go of? Or even just decide to let go of?
Freedom comes step by step. And it starts with an intention, the desire to be free, and discomfort with what is constraining you. You gain freedom when you let go and say no to whatever is keeping you from feeling free.You have to let go of the familiar and be willing to risk uncertainty.
But what if it’s a memory? Pain? Grief? Shame? PTSD? Physical disability?
To the extent that we can control our thoughts, we keep ourselves prisoner and we release ourselves by them. By how we choose to perceive and apply meaning to our experiences, motivations, actions, and reactions. It’s true that PTSD and physical disabilities can affect how our bodies and brains process thought. Authorities often say these are permanent wounds that cannot be overcome. That leaves people feeling powerless. But what if we started looking at what we can control? What if we started to believe in the power of attitude, in the power of the intention to be well, of the human spirit’s amazing ability to be resilient, to find ways to adapt, to achieve a new way of accepting ‘what is’ in a way that empowers us?
I’m not negating the biological effects of PTSD or the enormity of its affect on those with it. What I am saying is this: no one has the right to make you feel powerless. Including you.
Beyond PTSD, war muddies up the boundaries of guilt, shame, pride, and patriotism. It can leave you with secrets. It can leave you feeling more alone than ever. It can leave you feeling trapped.
If you’re feeling unfree in your spirit today, don’t berate yourself for it. Ask yourself: what if I were free? What if I could find a new sense of meaning and wholeness? What if I could create a new way of thinking about my life? What if I had the power to change my thoughts and that would change my feelings and create new circumstances and experiences in my future?
Let your mind explore the possibility of actually creating a future where you are happy and whole. Open yourself to the possibility that you could experience this. Then start thinking about the thoughts that limit you. Are they true? How do you know they are true? What if they weren’t true? What new thought could you think that would feel freer?
If you are in crisis today, let this be the day you choose life. Reach out and call 911 or the hotline. Don’t wait. Just dial the number: 1-800-273-8255.