Freedom is presently on our mind: Independence Day is upon us, the election of 2012 is a news headliner, foreign countries are seeking freedom through revolutionary action, we are involved in foreign wars, and our country back home seeks freedom from debt, job loss and a plummeting economy. Definitely, freedom is on our mind.

When we are born into this world, our natural desire is to be free. Although naked at birth, clothing is immediately placed around the newborn to keep them warm. Have you ever seen how tightly the nurse wraps the blankets around the newborn, rolled up like a little burrito? I’m sure there is a valid reason they do this, but it always seemed a little too confining. Have you ever watched the gleefulness of a toddler who escapes their mom’s grasp after a bath and runs naked around the house for a few minutes? What happens when the adolescent reaches the teen years? They want to be free to do things their way. (Of course there must be guidelines to help steer them on a good path)

High school graduation – freedom from mom and dad as college life begins. But is it free, really? Mom and dad are probably paying the bills so expect good results in the way of grades and behavior. The university has standards and rules in which compliance is required to remain there. Once completed, it’s on to the workforce, perhaps marriage, children and life. All have infringements on freedom attached to them if you really stop to think about it.

So what is freedom? Freedom is being able to act, move and do without any hindrance or restraint, or any control from another individual. Freedom means you get to make your own choices and decide what and how you want to live through what you think, believe, act and behave. However, there are rules by which mankind must live in a society where others exist. There must be standards that, although they may appear as constraints and restrictions, have to be upheld according to the basic principles of universal operation, or there will be consequences. Although it may seem contradictory, those very constraints that keep others from making unfavorable choices, allow us to be free. Here’s an example.

A person goes into a store and makes some purchases using a credit card. This is their choice to use the card as a means of payment, knowing full well that when the statement comes at the end of the month, they will have to pay for these purchases. The store receives their money right then, and the credit card company expects you to pay on time the borrowed money according to the statement you receive. Freedom does not mean you can shirk your responsibility and not pay the charges. You made the choice to purchase using the credit card – a freedom for you – but now must pay the bill. The credit card company gave you the choice whether or not to procure a card from them and use it – another freedom of yours – but with that freedom comes the responsibility (constraint if you will) for you to pay. So even though there are constraints in life, such as paying for a credit card purchase, there are also freedoms for you in making that choice. Get it?

There is one area in which you have total freedom, a freedom that no one can ever take away from you, and that is your thoughts. It is in your thoughts where true freedom lives, and if you use them wisely, you can create anything and everything you want in your life. It is total freedom, and with this freedom comes an unmatched power that can change anything! Prisoners of war have often said their one hope was their thoughts. They continued to think of getting home again and they managed to overcome dire circumstances of their existence in prisoner of war camps or similar experiences.

Have you ever thought about how you’d like to live your life and what you’d like to do with it? When you choose what you want to do and how you want to live, that’s the ultimate freedom. When you listen to what your spirit tells you, that “gut feeling” or “knowing” deep inside of you, and then act upon it, that’s living authentically. So let’s talk about some ways to experience freedom.
Since when has debt compounded by more debt ever been freeing? Have you ever heard a financial planner tell anyone who wants to be free of debt to go out and borrow more money to pay off present debt so they’ll be free? Ridiculous, right? Perhaps this is a principle our government needs to learn. What has to happen is a reduction of spending so debt can be paid off while learning how to handle your money wisely. In this situation the ultimate freedom is no more debt! So the freedom has to first experience a constraint (boundary), due to your choice to acquire debt, so freedom can be experienced.

Are you in a relationship that hurts, is non-nurturing, abusive or do you simply feel stuck? You might even feel as if you’re in prison, and as you must know well, that isn’t freedom. A relationship with someone, especially an intimate one, should be uplifting, nurturing, congenial, and one that allows you to be your authentic self; anything less than that is not acceptable. You don’t have to agree on everything or even like everything about the other person, but you do have to allow them to be themselves while you remain your authentic self.

Why do individuals remain in unhealthy, confining, controlling relationships? Fear. Fear of financial insecurity, being alone, need the paycheck from the employer, don’t think they can do anything else, lack self-confidence, afraid of what others might say, don’t want to lose status, and so forth. If you allow another person to control you in any way, then you are basically a prisoner in your own life. Relationships are meant to complement each person in the relationship. Each individual should be nourished, uplifted, appreciated and sometimes challenged to grow. Each partner is equal to the other, not one better or more important than the other. Without these characteristics, a relationship is confining and has little value in your growth as an authentic individual.

Are you in a job that stifles your dreams and creativity? Many people stay in a job for the paycheck, and while that is certainly necessary for survival, it can be devastating for the spirit and freedom. In fact, many individuals will take just about any job right now just to have an income with so many people out of work. In these times a job is a blessing, no matter what it is. But that doesn’t mean you accept this as the only way it can be and stop dreaming about what you really want.

So what do you truly want? What kind of relationships do you desire and what type work/vocation would make your heart sing? How do you want to live your life? Sit quietly and think on these things; search deeply into your soul for answers. Write down what you really want in your life, then decide you will create them by focusing your thoughts on them from now on. Remember this, it’s not what your parents want you to do, what your friends or spouse expect of you, but what You want to do!

Here are some thoughts to help you right now. If you’re in a relationship that is going nowhere and you are abused or criticized continuously, detach from it. This may mean a divorce, leaving a workplace due to an employer, breaking free from a friendship that pulls you down, or distancing yourself from family dynamics that can wreak havoc on your freedom, health and self-worth. The key is to break the emotional cord so that you don’t enter into the dance with these individuals. You may be in their life still, as with a child and parent, but you can set boundaries as to what you will listen to and what is no longer acceptable to you. If you need help with this, find a good coach to help you.

If your job pays the bills but you dread going to work every day for whatever reason, then you’re in the wrong profession. Let’s say you want to become a freelance photographer; you’re good at taking photographs and have been doing it for some years with favorable results, but you depend on your income from your present job to survive. So continue your present job and begin creating your photography business on the side – weekends or evenings. As you build up your clientele, you can at some point switch over to the photography business and quit the other job. And while you continue to work the job you don’t like, be grateful every day that you have that job with that income, but continue to think about your dream of being a successful full-time photographer. The gratitude shifts you from a negative place of don’t-like-my-job, to a place of positivity – I appreciate my job but am placing the intention to be a successful photographer and leave the other job behind.

You were born with the freedom of choice which gives you the right to choose the life you want to live. What greater freedom could there be than that? Your task now is to decide exactly what it is you want your life to look like. To be authentic, you have to be congruent with your vision and the thoughts you allow to circulate in your mind, for those thoughts are what will ultimately create the life you live. Pay attention to your behavior and actions, for those promulgate what your mind is thinking. Once you decide what it is you want and focus on it, grab onto patience, because the manifestation of your dreams comes in divine timing, not your timing. Never let go of your dream(s). So let me say it again: What you think about in your mind is what shows up in your life experiences. Create it your way so you can experience the ultimate freedom - authenticity!

Author's Bio: 

Rev. Dr. Carolyn Porter, is an internationally known speaker, author of multiple books and audios that include "The Realness of a Woman," "Healing with Color," and "Angel Love", spiritual wholeness coach, trainer and angel channel whose passion is helping individuals move beyond their limitations and help them see they can do and be what they can envision. She is the owner of Where Miracles Happen Quantum Healing & Empowerment Center in Cumming, GA. Their services include life and health coaching, angel sessions, self-publishing coaching, energy healing, classes, certified trainings, and much more. She invites you to visit for more information about how these services can benefit your life.