There once were 2 construction workers that ate lunch together. Every day one of them would open his lunch box and exclaim in disgust, “Peanut butter and jelly again!” Finally the other inquired, “Why don’t you ask your wife to fix something else?” “Oh I’m not married,” was the reply. “I make my own lunch.”
I MAKE MYOWN LUNCH – AND – I make my own life!
If anywhere in my life I still think that someone else or something else is the CAUSE of anything, I’m abdicating the very gift of God that makes me human – the quality of God that makes us most like God – our FREEDOM. That’s the Quality we’re focusing on today.
MARYANN WILLIAMSON QUOTE
Free will is a basic right bestowed upon us by our creator so that we can learn to be creators. Because we have this right, we should use it, take advantage of the precious gift that it is.
If you had purchased or was given a ticket to a BUFFET, you would then have the right to take from this buffet whatever you would choose to take. You paid your $9.95 and that then, gave you the right to eat whatever you choose. Would you sit down and complain that you didn’t get any dessert, or salad, or something that you chose? Not if you had half a brain. You would get up and go get it. We have been given certain unalienable rights by our creator, it is us that chooses how we will use these rights.
Barbara Marx Hubbard, futurist, author and dear friend of mine, rewrote a line from the Declaration of Independence where she states, enlarging Thomas Jefferson’s great statement to say, “We hold these truths to be self-evident. All people are born creative, endowed by our Creator with the inalienable right to realize our creativity, for the good of ourselves and the world.”
So – Freedom, as a Quality of God is about our ability to make choices and as our mission statement says – be all we are and all we can become.
When it’s put that way, who doesn’t want freedom? And yet, most of us reject the gift of FREEDOM because along with it comes RESPONSIBILITY! You see, Freedom doesn’t mean free from consequences… Freedom does not mean the right to do whatever one wants. Freedom is not license!
Actually, the only way to be truly free is to thoroughly accept responsibility. So, the idea of real Freedom – is sometimes a pretty scary proposition for most of us…We are not choosing to be free, whenever we aren’t choosing responsibility for what is happening in our lives. In other words, whenever we play the victim, - and I know I do it without realizing it most of the time.
Another way of seeing this or saying this is that I am not free whenever I believe in cause and effect at all. When I think something else causes what happens in my life; in fact, when I think that anything has a cause at all – that’s one to ponder – Looking for the cause is another way of deflecting responsibility
I once heard someone say that anything you say after the word BECAUSE is actually a cop out from taking responsibility…
I used to teach critical thinking and it was one of the major errors in critical thinking to decide that something that comes after something else is actually caused by it..
Georgia’s example of new medication – and getting Montezuma’s revenge when she went to Mexico…When her doctor questioned her if she had done anything different on this trip to Mexico, she realized that she had drunk some fruit juice – and of course, the fruit had been washed off by the water in Mexico – and many of us who have traveled there, know NOT to drink the water.
Or how many of us get sick and decide it was because we were in an airplane, or a crowded room – or because a child had sneezed near us. If you did a survey of everyone else who was in the same situation, I guarantee you would discover that most of the others did not get sick… And yet, we are CERTAIN that something is the CAUSE.
The only way to experience freedom is to give up the word BECAUSE and to BE – CAUSE
Whenever something doesn’t go as expected, most of us tend to “blame” someone else for what went wrong. In doing so, we lose a tremendous learning opportunity.
The world makes progress by learning from mistakes. When we blame someone, it gives that person power over the situation. For example, have you ever said something like, “If Helen had done what she agreed that she would do, then this would never have happened.” That may be true. However, this statement gives Helen the power over the situation, and we usually learn very little from the experience.
Some of us have learned not to blame others – at least most of the time. But, then we subtly tend to justify what happened, which is really another way of blaming. . “I would have gotten what I promised done except that I had traveled all night yesterday and I was too tired to focus on it today.” This is just another form of blame. Instead of blaming a person, we blame the circumstances. Again, no matter how reasonable the justification, we are shirking responsibility and thereby losing our freedom
Some of us don’t do a lot of blaming and justifying, but we are masters at beating ourselves up; “I did the dumbest thing!” Instead of blaming another person or the circumstance, we blame ourselves. This is just another form of freedom lost.
When we allow ourselves to recognize the part we play everything that happens; when we are willing to view the world from this vantage point, the more freedom we actually experience.
It is only by accepting responsibility that we actually have optimal control, direction, and command over our lives.
Life is a succession of choices.
In the second Harry Potter movie, a teacher tells Harry: “It isn’t your talents that make you who you are, it’s your choices.”
I repeat – we are inherently FREE – it’s a Quality of God that we inherit, but, much of the time, we don’t REALLY want freedom –
Besides not wanting to accept responsibility, we probably all recognize that to be truly FREE – there’s a PRICE to pay.
For example – Most people today would rather be told what to do than to use their personal freedom to make up their minds on what they REALLY want. Your first reaction to that might be NOT ME – but, I invite you to look deeper
Is there anywhere in your life where are you not living fully? Is there anywhere in your life have you made a compromise to be less than you know you could be? Perhaps it’s in a job? You stay because the benefits are too good to give up – even though you’d rather be doing almost anything else.
Or in a relationship There’s little or no love there – but– It’s easier to stay in something that’s KNOWN than to face the unknown.
How many of us stayed in our Religions longer than we really felt comfortable? Or stayed in a friendship when we knew it was over?
How many of us TRUST that the idea we have of God is adequate? That our Prayer really produce results? That what we Know and Believe is – I quote The RIGHT BELIEF??
How many times do you wonder? Anytime you don’t really live the idea that Consciousness is everything – you are really saying – I’d rather NOT be that free!! By the way we are living our lives, we are sometimes saying ::: I’d still rather think that there is someone or something outside me that causes things to happen – whether I accept that it is a benevolent God or decide that it is some other Power…maybe not an EVIL force – but a person, or even an old belief that I give that power to…It’s easier than changing my consciousness – In fact, I still don’t even think that I have the Power to Change – in some areas of my life… I’d rather give up my FREEDOM than to take the responsibility of DECIDING who I really am.
Many of you have heard me read the passage from Marianne Williamson –I read this at my Ordination – but, it comes up for me frequently – and feels appropriate in talking about this topic today– so I want to share it again with you:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our Light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you NOT to be?
You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the World.
There is nothing enlightening about shrinking
so that other people won’t feel unsure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us;
it is in everyone.
As we let our own Light shine, we unconsciously give
other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.
I invite you to ponder those ideas –and ask yourself where in your life you are FEARING FREEDOM?
Choose today to accept the fact that we are meant to be free. Free from the influence, of others. Free of the thoughts and opinions of others. Free to be the full expression of who we are – individually. Because we are individual expressions of the One Mind, One Power, One Life. This means we have self choice, volition, a conscious mind, complete freedom and a “POWER TO BACK UP THAT FREEDOM.”
EH page 108: “We cannot imagine a mechanical or unspontaneous individuality; to be real and free, individuality must be created in the image of Perfection and let alone to make the great discovery for itself.” That is the discovery of our Freedom.
We are created with the possibility of limitless freedom and left alone to discover it ourselves. This discovery is called the awakening process
We express this freedom through the Law of Mind or Cause and Effect. The Law of Freedom is a Law of Liberty. We will always experience the logical result of our thoughts and actions. Being free means there is more than one course of action to experience. The difference between freedom and bondage is choice. The choice is ours!
Freedom is not license to do anything without regard to consequences. In fact, the way we are created, and the way the creative process works in the world, is that God always says YES. So, whatever we choose by our thoughts is what we get to experience in our lives.
Ultimate freedom is the freedom to be the divine self that you are, which includes living as a fully balanced and conscious being. When you remember that you are liberated, you are spontaneous in your expression of life and you express in ways that are in harmony with the greatest good for everyone concerned. You are at ease wherever you find yourself. You have the freedom, to just be you. Nothing binds you, you are a true individual, unique and expressive. Life takes on more joy when freedom is realized.
Expert dog handlers agree that a dog who has had good obedience training is happier and more contented. This is because such a dog can do more, has more skills, is more competent than a dog left to its own devices. Paradoxical though it may seem, the disciplined dog has more freedom, in part because it is more trustworthy, both to itself and to its owner. Freedom is a basic need for all living creatures, one of the needs encoded in our genes because it has survival value. But simply opening the cage is not true freedom if the creature lacks the skills to survive. Animal mothers patiently drill their babies in necessary survival skills before turning them loose in the wild.
Similarly, religions bind their adherents into various disciplines with the intention of giving them skills for coping with life and for growing spiritually. But for many people these spiritual disciplines fail, either because they have been imposed from without or because they do not meet individual needs. Such people struggle to break free. Once out of the cage, they still lack spiritual survival skills; they are undisciplined. It’s as if they were to live on a diet of nothing but hot fudge sundaes with no exercise, and then discover themselves running in the Boston Marathon.
The price of freedom may well be eternal vigilance, but the road to freedom is the route of self-discipline.. It consists of first getting very clear on what your mission in life is, choosing your goals based on that mission, and then doing whatever it takes to reach them. There is no external coercion, no loss of freedom to choose, only the gaining of what you truly want, be that health, wealth, happiness, or all of the above. You have or can obtain all the resources you need to reach any goals that you decide to set, because you are one with the one Presence and Power in the universe, and that Power is good. The path to freedom is to do what you love. “Do What You Love, the Money Will Follow”, Marsha Sinetar’s title for the best known of her books. New Thought is about love, not about greed. There is no need to be greedy in an abundant universe. Greed comes from a belief in lack and limitation. But by voluntarily limiting or narrowing yourself down from a universe of choices to just the choices that carry you toward your chosen goal, you gain that goal, and with it, the satisfaction of having what you really want. This is what Jesus meant when he said, “Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life” (Matt. 7:14).
Freedom comes when you let go of the bonding beliefs and actions you have accepted. When you let go of limitation and allow yourself to be AUTHENTIC. In what ways have you not allowed yourself the freedom to be and do what you would like? Take small steps in giving yourself permission- the freedom to be YOURSELF.
Choice is what gives us freedom. Choice assumes there is more than one option – more than one choice to make – if there were not, you would not have freedom. Without choice you would be bound by only one option no choice no freedom to express your individuality. Having a choice means there is more than one option open to you. And we get to decide on the outcome we want to experience. That decision guides our choice.
We’re going someplace here – having choice means you will probably have to change. The only person whoever got anywhere by sitting still all day is a hen.
So – Freedom — What does it mean? Is it Freedom from or freedom to?