Ever feel completely suffocated by life and living in a maze of uncertainty? There are some who have learned to condition themselves to be a shell of a person, but feel numb or breaking apart on the inside. Perhaps there are those who keep up appearances, but they mask their inner fragility through excessiveness; work, studies, food, substances. Or there may be others who don’t have any motivation on where to begin for personal betterment; maybe they are clueless or choose not too. For the most part, this has become the normal and accepted operating mode for the majority of individuals. Feelings of internal imprisonment don’t discriminate based upon gender, location, society, socio-economic class, ethnicity, or race.
However, there are those beautiful encounters with those who truly possess an inner peace, a light, expansiveness, and gentleness. Maybe you in fact are one of those people. It’s not that they have been granted a free pass, a gift in life, or haven’t suffered their share. It’s just that they have learned to transmute difficulties both internal and external through possibilities and opportunities for self-growth and discovery. They authentically have created and continuously maintain a level of self love that in turn allows them to pass each day with choice, liberation, and a quiet mind and heart.
I can only write from personal experience because it’s what I know. But from what I’ve learned thus far, nobody ever tells you that in life there are choices. Real choices that contribute, impact, shape, and define your personal journey; both successes and disappointments. Although there may be a divine plan for each and everyone to serve as part of their unique purpose here on earth, there is still this wonderful element of free will. That every action has a reaction, every problem does have a solution, every suffering brings a great lesson, and every joy brings a sweetness to life.
So how does one achieve this personal freedom?
1. Examining, releasing, and accepting past suffering and having gratitude for the purpose it served.
2. Nurturing and believing that you are worthy and deserving to love yourself and others.
3. Make flexible future goals; both short and long term, finding the balance of being pro-active, yet respecting the natural flow of things.
4. Be present; in everyday life, in the company of your loved ones, at work/school. Wherever your feet are, that’s where you are meant to be in that moment.
5. Realize that only you can control yourself and adapt yourself to how others interact with you. For no one can or should change another.
6. Taking absolutely nothing personally and having empathy that others also have a cross to bear and although this doesn’t justify negative behavior, it allows you to remember most of the time it’s their perception of the world, not yours.
7. Knowing that you have not done anything wrong and any feelings of past guilt, shame, and doubt do not define you as the person you are today and who you could be in the future.
8. Breathe. The “why” and “when” are not important, but rather the “what” is because it’s more objective and grounded in reality. It’s ok not to have the answers, they are revealed when they are meant to show up; it’s just a matter of being open to them.
9. Remember that you, your loved ones, and anything in life is not permanent; all is changing and nothing is forever.
10. Give yourself permission to make choices, to be happy, to love and be loved, and that no one or nothing should hold you back from creating and living the life that it is you desire—most importantly, don’t hold yourself back.