There is a lesson from A Course in Miracles that helped me to understand how freedom is a choice:
“I have given everything I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place] all the meaning that it has for me.”
This lesson was ultimately life altering for me. It also helped me to understand my past disappointments and struggles. One example was when my son became a young adult, he seemingly hated me. I tried for years to get him to like me. I thought my children should like me! I wanted him to see that I was a good person with a beautiful heart. He didn’t. The gift he offered me was that through all of my feelings of abandonment and rejection, I finally realized that it wasn’t his job to love me— or even like me. It was mine.
A couple of years ago, my son asked me how I made it through the time he was so cruel. My response? “I took my power back from you. I realized that I got to love you regardless of how you felt about me, and that you had nothing to say about it. I also realized it wasn’t your job to love, value and respect me. It was my job to love, value and respect myself.”
For quite some time, I had used my son to feel bad about myself. Then, I used my son for my personal growth to once again align with love. I define myself as love. I learned that when I am triggered or hurt, there is something up for ME to heal. It never has anything to do with anyone else whether they are acting lovingly, or like an asshole.
No one else gets to decide for me whether a relationship, a t-shirt, or my favorite pillow should be important to me. I get to decide all of the meaning those things have for ME. I also get to decide if my old favorite shirt that I used to wear is still my favorite shirt now. What was or is important to me today, may or may not continue to be important to me tomorrow. That same freedom I have, extends equally to everyone else — whether they know it or not.
I also know what it’s like to bury a 9 day old daughter. Burying my daughter helped to put all my relationships in perspective. Since I experience myself as love, in order to be authentic, I bring love of self and love of others into all my choices. Sometimes that looks like making loving choices for myself, while sometimes that looks like extending love to others. Balance is always an important consideration. Sometimes when my tank is empty, the most loving thing may be to tuck myself in.
Why am I sharing this story now? Because around the holidays there can be a lot of expectations as to what you should or shouldn’t be doing. When I was first out on my own and going off to college, I was grateful for how accepting and flexible my Mom was about when we got together to celebrate the Holidays. Since she didn’t have a story about how she HAD to see me on any particular day, it freed me to make other choices without throwing guilt my way. Eventually, I came to see that not everyone is so free with their expectations.
I am inviting you to pause; to pause and reflect on what meaning you have given any action or inaction or any thing. Is it authentic to you and your beautiful heart? If so, carry on. If not, consider choosing again. For you have given everything all the meaning that it has. Knowing that frees you from being a victim. Knowing that means you always have a choice. Freedom is always a good choice.
May your days be filled with the pauses and space you need to live with an open heart; learn, accept, and decide what your life, and everything it means to you.