As July 4th has been getting closer I’ve been really thinking about what TRUE FREEDOM means to me? Lately I’ve felt a full spectrum of emotions. I’ve had the highest highs I can remember and I’ve rumbled with some deep pain of the past. And let me tell you, I feel fully alive! I honestly wouldn’t trade it for anything. For the first time in my life I really can just sit with my pain and allow it to be. I don’t try to hurry it along or push it away. This week that meant I was feeling deeply painful feelings for most of the day. These were feelings around an event that had been building up for years. I looked at every thought that was coming to my mind. One by one, I wrote down all my feelings of unworthiness. In so many areas of my life I feel completely worthy, but in this area, these old beliefs are buried deep and have a long, tangled root structure. As I wrote each thought I just let the feelings come. I saw them, named them, and when I had finally felt them all, I read them outloud, and then I told them that they have no power over me anymore.
I have finally stopped running from painful emotions, stopped trying to cover them up with something pretty, and just sat with the ugliness of my thoughts. As I finished this exercise I was tired emotionally and physically, AND I felt so free! I then sat for a long time taking deep breaths with my hand over my heart, just breathing in love for myself. Then I wrote down all the loving things I truly believe about myself. I let go of the old beliefs that had been lingering since childhood, and took in new life to my lungs.
So, what is true freedom? Here are a few of my thoughts.
Freedom from: self judging, old beliefs that no longer serve us, asking others for permission, “SHOULDing” yourself, seeking outside validation/approval, others’ limiting beliefs.
Freedom to: feel all of your emotions (50/50) in order to feel fully alive, make decisions for yourself, love yourself unconditionally, ask for what you need, stand in your power, create your own happiness, fail, celebrate YOU, make mistakes.
These might seem kind of basic, but let’s dive in. Do you really feel free to make mistakes? Or are you worried about what others will think about you? What if you fail? Is your love for yourself enough that you will still feel loved even if you lost the approval of others? I know I have spent many years of my life doing what I thought others wanted me to do. Spent years trying to make my husbands happy, thinking that if I could just make them happy then I would finally be happy. The problem with that thinking is that it’s impossible for us to make anyone else feel any emotion, including happiness, just like no one else can make us feel any emotions. If I am feeling happy it is because of a thought I have about some circumstance in my world, and if I’m upset, it is also because of my thought about a circumstance. No one else can make me mad. They can do something, and I might have a thought about what they did that makes me mad, but they do not actually have the power to make me mad. I have the power to think a different thought, and therefore create a different feeling.
If you are struggling to feel any of the freedoms mentioned above I would like to offer a suggestion. Take a piece of paper and write down a list, I call it a “Thought Download”. Pick a topic like: my birthday, my marriage, finances, my job or whatever it is you are struggling with. Write down all the thoughts that come to your mind. Don’t stop until your paper is full, and if they are still flowing, go ahead and write on the other side. Then take a deep breath and read them over, circle anything that is a true FACT. That means that if 10 people were in the room they would all agree it is true. Something like “I’m a terrible mom” is NOT a fact. “I’m a mom of 3 kids” is a fact. Usually very few of the thoughts on this list, if any at all, are facts. Our thoughts come at us as if they are simply reporting the news, “this is the 5 o’clock news, breaking story: Kendra is a terrible mother.” But that’s not true, it’s your human brain doing a human brain thing. Our power lies in the space where we look at these thoughts, name them, tell them they are a lie, and then change them.
After you’ve read all your thoughts, and discovered them to mostly be false, take out a new paper and write down thoughts that ARE TRUE about you. “I’m a thoughtful mom,” “I try really hard,” and so on. We have to do the hard work to reprogram our brain to challenge the thoughts that come into our minds. Our thoughts create our feelings, our feelings drive our actions, and our actions create our results. So our thoughts are important. And the best news is, our thoughts are OPTIONAL. Which means we can change them.
When you are willing to rumble with the past, challenge your old thoughts and beliefs and change your thoughts to new, truer, kinder thoughts, your life can change quite quickly for the better. This is when you will begin to feel truly free! If you would like help finding this freedom for yourself, I can help you! As a trained life coach I will help you examine your thoughts, challenge them, and learn to create the life you want, using the power that is already inside of you. You can experience true freedom! You can have lasting change, and you can have it NOW! Click HERE to schedule a FREE consultation session with me, and I’ll teach you how to do this in your very first session.
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