A single friend who’s quite well known on the talk circuit said to me the other day, “You know, I just came to the conclusion that everyone loves me, but no one really wants me.” Her loneliness in the midst of her success tugged at my heart. It started me thinking that we may have all the good possible in our lives in the outer realms of prosperity and adoration, and yet that really is a poor substitute if we don’t have an inner sense of self-acceptance and love. To feel embraced at the very heart and soul of us by a love that is not dissipated when the curtain goes down, is evidence of God’s Presence in our lives. A momentarily high experience can leave us empty when the lights go out and we’re alone. Unless we consistently cultivate a relationship with ourselves that starts with shifting our identity to the Divine, we will be enslaved by looking outside ourselves for our good. When we partake of daily spiritual practices, our attention is drawn to the vast inner world of thought and feeling and we start approaching ourselves and life from that core of clarity, goodness and calm. The movement to the invisible softens the urge to reach outward in order to feel full and instead, we start experiencing being inwardly fulfilled. This has always been the promise offered through living a spiritual life from the inside out.
Which leads us to the idea of freedom. How free are we…really? How liberated are we in the depths of our soul? How disentangled do we truly feel from old, dark memories and unpleasant ghosts of the past. And…how detached and untouched are we from unwholesome and negative expectations about the future? Is my disposition clean, clear and constantly shedding more and more fear, guilt, shame, blame and disappointment? Do I fill my moments longing for a life that really doesn’t belong to me? Do I look at others and want what they have, rather than blessing and giving thanks for what I do have? This to me is the mark of freedom. It’s being liberated from the pain of the past, from the anxiety of the future and being so consistently poised in the present moment that all else pales in comparison. I claim my conscious capacity to think what I want to this moment. To feel the way I desire to feel today…and to choose the experiences I want that benefit myself and through this process are also a benefit and blessing to others.
And so my invitation for all of us is this. Let’s take off our blinders and see through the “I” of our Divine nature free of judgement and condemnation, as well as from unrealistic, ‘pie in the sky’ phantasies about how we want our lives to be. Let’s forgive and forget the past in compassionately wise and kindly ways that uplift ourselves and those around us. Let’s cherish the people, places and things that comprise our world today…personally, professionally, locally and globally. Let raise our voices and when the firecrackers send their beauty, lights and sparkle into the heavens, let’s all raise our voices high and as the old gospel hymn proclaimed, let’s joyously declare, “Praise God I’m free, Praise God I’m free.”
AWARENESS CONTEMPLATION:In your morning time of quiet, meditative and introspective solitude, consider the statement, “I Am as free as I want to be.” With journal handy, while still maintaining this quiet state of awareness and when the Spirit so moves you, write what that statement conjures up from the inner world of your Self. Do you feel the truth of those words? Or, is there an impetus for more…for some greater corner of your world that is longing for a fuller expression of freedom? Let your soul speak from its hidden depths and from your as yet undiscovered sense of Self. Unleash the moreness of you which is pressing for greater Self-Expression. And in the next days, keep building on what is revealed this day.
AFFIRMATIVE PRAYER:I praise the God of my being for my awakening to the greater awareness, expression and manifestation of my free, spontaneous and creatively unique Self. I affirm my willingness and eagerness to experience the fuller nature of love, joy, laughter, wisdom and compassion which God Is and therefore, I Am. I experience the true generosity of the Spirit by giving the highest and best of my liberated and transformed Self to the world, and by so doing, I Am blessed, prospered and flourished and so is everyone, near and far. I give thanks that this is the way it really is, and so I let it be.
* REMINDER: To explore more ideas on this topic, as they personally relate to your life, e-mail me at: email@example.com.
Abundant and loving blessings during this and all seasons!