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What Does Freedom Mean to You?

(Photo Credit: Flickr, State Library and Archives of Florida, no known copyright)

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.

Blessings,

Lisa Marie Selow

http://lisaselow.com

P.S. Did you know that if you sign up for my email updates you get a free, 3-part e-course, A Rebel Chick Mystic’s Power Toolkit: Get Happier, Get Braver, & Get Sexier? I’d love to have you join my tribe.

20 Comments on What Does Freedom Mean to You?

  1. Kelly
    July 4, 2012 at 1:14 pm (6 years ago)

    Freedom to me is how I live my life. I report to myself for work, and work much harder for “me” because I am a bit of a rebel and don’t like to have anything be “mandatory.” Everything is a choice, and realizing that is my freedom. Even if I do something I don’t particularly like, I do it because I choose it, and thus feel free :)

    Reply
    • admin
      July 10, 2012 at 7:14 pm (6 years ago)

      Kelly,
      I so hear you about mandatory things. I even rebel against those mandatory things I create for myself at times LOL. Oh, goodness.

      I love your bit about choice, so true! Thanks for sharing.

      Reply
  2. Athena Brady
    July 4, 2012 at 1:19 pm (6 years ago)

    Freedom to me means following my dream, finding my joy and connecting with others. Great post Lisa.

    Reply
    • admin
      July 4, 2012 at 1:27 pm (6 years ago)

      Athena,

      (Nice name, by the way! Love that Goddess! Rock on!)

      I love your definition of freedom too :)

      Happy 4th and blessings,
      Lisa

      Reply
  3. shawn
    July 4, 2012 at 1:39 pm (6 years ago)

    Freedom means to me that we have the ability to do this. As bloggers/writers we can express our opinions and we don’t have to worry about consequences.

    Reply
    • admin
      July 4, 2012 at 1:44 pm (6 years ago)

      Hi there, Shawn,

      Thanks so much for stopping by and also, for sharing my post on Twitter too :)

      You’re so right. We enjoy so many freedoms in the Western world. It’s hard to even imagine not being able to express myself via my writing and music. You just gave me a good one to ponder and meditate on. That is one to really be grateful for. Thanks for this food for thought :)

      Reply
  4. Allison Crow
    July 4, 2012 at 1:43 pm (6 years ago)

    YES! Freedom to choose and own my own beliefs and mindset!!

    Reply
    • admin
      July 4, 2012 at 1:46 pm (6 years ago)

      Ooh, Allison, that one rocks!

      I once had a spiritual teacher recommend that book by Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning. It so spanked my a$$ spiritually. Every now and then, I get the reminder to be grateful, but that was intense for me about 6-7 years ago.

      Reply
  5. Cynthia
    July 4, 2012 at 2:41 pm (6 years ago)

    Love this post – everyone has such a different idea of what freedom is and you’re right, there is no one definition. For me, I felt most free when I was traveling on my own, and so my ‘definition’ (although it probably isn’t the only one I have LOL) is to be utterly and wholly connected to the earth around me, and yet be completely and totally myself, warts and all, and to accept that – and others – with heart and a smile :).

    Reply
    • admin
      July 5, 2012 at 3:17 pm (6 years ago)

      HI there, Cynthia,

      Ooh, travel! That is part of my idea of freedom too. I love what you said about “warts and all”–that is true self-acceptance and hence, true freedom, at least IMHO :)

      Thanks so much for sharing yourself here…much appreciated.

      Many blessings to you,
      Lisa

      Reply
    • admin
      July 10, 2012 at 7:13 pm (6 years ago)

      I’m a Buddhist. I don’t usually publicly admit this, but hey, we’re all friends, right?

      I believe that my purpose is to be happy. The other part of my purpose is to help others to be happy, alleviate their suffering. I can’t help others be happy, unless I’m happy. The way to alleviate suffering and unhappiness of oneself is to help others to be happy.

      Sort of interesting, huh?

      If I see others who are oppressed and it makes me not so happy…well, it’s time for me to get off my little butt and do something 😉

      Reply
  6. Amy Putkonen
    July 4, 2012 at 5:25 pm (6 years ago)

    Today my daughter and I were talking about what Independence Day means. I was somewhat surprised that she didn’t know. (Don’t they teach you that in school? Alas, once again, I realize that I am supposed to teach her that kind of stuff!) So I told her that today was the day, a long time ago, that we gained our independence as a nation. She said that they asked her in school which holiday she would toss out if she had to toss one and she said this one! I said, “Oh no. To me, this is one of the most important holidays because this one means our freedom.” To me, my freedom is sacred. I would toss Groundhog’s Day myself. That stupid groundhog is so rarely right anyways.

    Reply
    • admin
      July 10, 2012 at 7:10 pm (6 years ago)

      Amy,
      Love it! That is so amazing…kids just rock!

      Oh, yes, that groundhog is never right, it seems…heehee!

      Reply
  7. Gen
    July 4, 2012 at 5:53 pm (6 years ago)

    Hi Lisa another great post. I love freedom. Freedom is not hard for me to define I have had someone in my life who has fought for my freedoms since I was born. I believe that being free equates to being able to pursue happiness, health, wealth and yes freedom. I too agree that it does not matter your political freedoms all of those things are attainable for anyone. I also know that freedom comes at a cost for everyone. Whether it be the lives that have been lost in the wars for freedom all over the global, or the lose of beliefs that no longer serve us. So those are my two cents. Thanks for asking. =D

    Reply
    • admin
      July 10, 2012 at 7:09 pm (6 years ago)

      Gen,
      Thanks so much for sharing :)

      Reply
  8. Roberta
    July 4, 2012 at 7:47 pm (6 years ago)

    Freedom means both the choice to control my thoughts and actions and the responsibility to ensure I hurt no one else by those thoughts and actions.

    Reply
    • admin
      July 10, 2012 at 7:09 pm (6 years ago)

      Roberta,
      I love your definition. Thanks so much for sharing :)

      Reply
  9. Amy Putkonen
    July 6, 2012 at 8:50 pm (6 years ago)

    I tried leaving a comment yesterday and it would not let me but hopefully today?

    Love your blog! Freedom is an awesome thing. I think that this is one of the most important holidays because of that. Hope you enjoyed it!

    Reply
    • admin
      July 10, 2012 at 7:03 pm (6 years ago)

      Amy,
      Oh, goodness, those gremlins online! LOL

      Thanks so much for the kind words and hope you enjoyed your holidays as well :)

      Reply

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