It’s Independence Day here in the United States. I’m not really into setting off loud, crackling fireworks. I just like to chillax with my hubby and yes, we are somewhat “American,” ‘cause we barbecue.
I guess that I can’t help myself. I like to think about freedom. Maybe it’s the armchair philosopher in me? It could have something to do with my bachelor’s degree in political science, perhaps.
As a person, freedom is one of my top values.
As a mystic, I consider freedom to be one of the highest states of consciousness.
It’s difficult to define freedom, so I won’t even try here. I only can provide my own definition, and in return, ask you for yours. I define freedom as being happy. I’m talking about genuine happiness, which for me, is the absence of suffering.
I consider happiness to be a choice.
Even when faced with challenges or lack of political freedom, one still can choose his or her own mindset. I’m sure you can think of scores of people who lived through some horrible things and yet, they were positive. They chose to be happy no matter what.
It’s hardcore to chose to be happy regardless of what is going on around you. I hear spiritual teachers say that happiness is not only a choice, but it’s something that is not dependent on outside circumstances or people. You might be thinking, “Oh, yeah, those are nice thoughts, but you haven’t met my boss [insert any other irritating person’s name as replacement for “boss”].
Oh, yes, I have met your boss, but in a different form. I’ve had irritating people in my life too. Bless them for being in my life. They’ve taught me how not to be. They’ve taught me to look at myself to see where I could possibly have been annoying in the past. They help me to remember to do my spiritual practices of loving kindness and compassion. They show me what is not happiness, so I’ll know how to create my own brand of happy.
When others or outside circumstances don’t affect my happiness, I feel truly free.
What about you? What does true freedom mean to you? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.
Lisa Marie Selow
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