May You Be Free

“Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to loose.” Kris Kristofferson

Too many of us spend a lifetime trapped in our stories created in the past. We miss the beautiful moments of freedom in the present where we can recreate our lives into something more free.

Some people experience life changing events- near death and life-threatening illness- that helps them shake the stories, let go of the grudges, and start making choices that drive their future into a place of freedom. I just can’t help wondering, why would we need such a contrast to the knowledge I suspect we’ve carried all along about freedom?
In the past two weeks, I’ve lost three friends. In death, people remember the good and they share stories that feel free. Yet, none of the fear-based stories were shared, the stories that trapped these friends into playing small, making poor lifestyle choices, being unhealthy, missing out of loving relationships that could have helped them heal.

Hurt people hurt.

That bears repeating. Hurt people hurt. They hurt themselves, others, and often both. When we encounter a hurt child or animal, our instinct isn’t to ostracize, punish, or hurt them worse. No. Our instinct is to hold them, love them, remind them that they are worthy of love, they matter, and it’s not their fault for someone else acting out of pain. But we certainly do not offer that space of love, compassion or healing towards ourselves and as a result, when triggered, we withhold our love and compassion from others. 

The fear of hurt drives us. The stories entrench. Freedom dissolves.

While we must hold each other accountable for inappropriate and hurtful behavior, we also must hold a space for healing which requires unconditional love. I think by offering it, we find it for ourselves and the more we find it for ourselves, the more we can offer it. There, in that space, we find freedom.

Just for today, take the risk of dropping the stories, grudges, self-imposed limitations. Love. Love deeply, generously. Speak your truth. Discover freedom.