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Are You Free or Just Think You Are?



America is celebrating its independence this week. The celebration represents America's separation from England and marks its contribution to what it means to found a nation based on spiritual ideas and ideals. To make that contribution, America had to release itself from the bondage of its past. Without that liberation, it would have merely reacted to the yoke of its history rather than freely choosing from the myriad of possibilities for its future.


As spiritual beings, no matter what we may be going through or growing through, we have the freedom to choose how we will respond to the circumstances in our lives.


In describing his concentration camp experience, Viktor Frankl, psychiatrist, author, and Holocaust survivor, wrote:


"We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."

Freedom is a gift of God. It is freely given and cultivated by our sincere desire to respond from God's presence within us. Many people are reactors who dream they are free because they are living from past experiences, hurts, shame, or denials. They bring those past experiences into the present moment and react from that space, believing they make a free choice.


We have the strength to exercise our inner freedom at any moment and under any circumstances. It comes from knowing that God is at our center and allowing this presence to be the activity of our awareness. When that awareness occurs, regardless of what's happening in the external world, a life-enhancing response occurs, beautifying, healing, uplifting, and dynamic. 


It takes spiritual fortitude to do that. We may ask, “How can we begin to cultivate that strength and stand in the infinite possibilities of Spirit?” We start by not looking back all the time.


A statement in Proverbs reminds us, "Without vision, the people perish."


Ultimately, we must be captured by a vision for our life that was planted in our hearts even before we took this incarnation. A genuine vision pulls the highest and best out of us: our capabilities, powers, and dynamic energies.


In high school, I attended a summer debate camp at a university in Washington D.C. While there, I mentioned that I wanted to attend a particular college. One of the students, knowing my background, finances, and how difficult it was to get into that specific school, said it would never happen. I nevertheless held that vision and was ultimately accepted by the school in question. In my naïveté, I was not concerned about the seeming facts or my history. The vision pulled me forward.

 

Vision motivates us from within and directs us to our new future. When we exercise true freedom, we no longer live life with a backward glance. We stop living in our metaphorical prison with open doors and cease preventing our greatness from moving in, though, and as us.  


Thomas Jefferson, one of the founders of America, said, "We must know the bright constellations to which we must aspire.” (Not To overlook the obvious, Jefferson was a walking contradiction since what he wrote in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal," was in direct conflict with the fact he was one of the largest slaveholders in the United States. But that's a topic for another blog).


In any event, core ideals are the basis for America's emergence and founding. Despite its flaws, America's governmental system was developed from these ideas theoretically unmatched by any other government. It is flawed and has yet to manifest those ideals fully.


But the founders did not say, "Here's a perfect nation." They said here's the blueprint for a perfect nation; now make it happen. We can bring the Divine Blueprint forward for America, our individual lives, and our world. 


Peace & Blessings,

James

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