What does freedom mean to you?
Quotes from Nelson Mandela about freedom:
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
“Forget the past.”
“Let freedom reign. The sun never set on so glorious a human achievement.”
As I’m thinking about how someone in prison for 18 years, as Nelson Mandela was, or any length of time, can still feel free, what comes to me is: it’s an inside job, just like everything else is in our lives.
As I write in my gratitude journal most days, one thing I write is I’m grateful “to have the freedom to be me”.
Times in my past I didn’t feel free to be who I was. I allowed others opinions of me to keep me the opposite of living in freedom.
You see when you allow others opinions of you to get you down or have you feeling anything other than love, joy and appreciation, you aren’t living in freedom. At least for those moments. Do you agree?
Am I always living in total freedom given what I just said? No, I’m not. I am human. We all have times we allow others thoughts, actions or opinions of us get us down or angry or sad. Right? Do I always allow others to be who they are, meaning, do I wish they would do something different? No and yes in that order.
I really think it’s a process to not judge and totally accept ourselves and others.
I think the trick is to acknowledge we’re there letting someone take away our joy, love or freedom. Or do they? When I really think about it all, as I stated in the beginning, it’s an inside job. I don’t think anyone can make me feel anything. I take full responsibility for what I’m feeling most of the time. Do I catch myself blaming? Yes sometimes. Only not for very long. I know better.
So, when you do become aware you are giving someone your power and allowing yourself to not live in freedom, what can you do to move out of this? To move toward being free again?
I teach others to find something to appreciate around them. Anything! Stop and slow down long enough.
This will shift you out of the lower vibrations of the negativity or move you closer to feeling something positive.
So what did Nelson Mandela do while he was in captivity for 18 years that kept him from being beat down totally?
His mindset stayed in a positive place. I would have loved to interview him and ask him exactly that myself.
He went on to be a leader of so many people living as a great example of living free.
He also said this:
“Live life as though nobody is watching, and express yourself as though everyone is listening.”
“One of the things I learned when I was negotiating was that until I changed myself, I could not change others.”
I think if we each did the best we could to live in this manner, this world would be a happier place.
Freedom is a precious thing isn’t it?
So I ask you again, what does freedom mean to you?
Leave me comments below with your thoughts will you?
With love and blessings to all of you,