Tuesday, July 21, 2009

On Freedom - Part Two

I promised this entry a while ago and got distracted (so many shiny objects, so little attention span). The first posting about freedom was an introduction and addressed financial freedom.

It also gave these two tips:

1.) You have to believe you are free.

2.) You have to have a source of income. You have to be able initially to provide for yourself, and eventually to have enough money to allow you to do what you want.

This post is moving on to other big tips:

3.) You can’t let others jail you. You hear this all the time, “I’d go with you guys, but my wife won’t let me.” Or, “I’d like to have dessert, but if you all aren’t having any….” How about your mother pressuring you to have children so she can have a grandbaby? Or waiting for someone to call you before you make your own plans? There are a million variations on this. We put our own lives and hopes and dreams on hold for someone else. Now, I’m not saying you have to start being a wild rebel, I’m saying you have to own up to your decisions and choices. Let’s use the “I’d love to go with you guys, but my wife won’t let me” line as an example.

You know what this line is? BS. The deal is that this man is free to do whatever he wants. He just knows going with the guys is going to make his wife angry. He is free to decide if he wants to go with the guys and deal with his wife’s anger or tell the guys no and avoid the wrath of wife. He makes a choice. He is free. His wife is not his jailer; he gets to decide what he wants. He also gets to decide if he wants to stay in the marriage.

Which leads us to another potential jailer – the church. Our guy might say, “I can’t get a divorce, the church won’t let me.” Ah – more BS. If he values his particular faith and that is a tenant of his faith, he can say, “I choose not to divorce because of my religious beliefs.” Or he can reconsider those beliefs. He is free.

If you want dessert, you need to order it – who cares what the other people are doing? They are not the bosses of you. They are not dragging you out of the restaurant. Will they think badly of you? WHO CARES? Part of being free is you have to stop worrying about what other people think. When you are more concerned with what others think than what YOU think, you are allowing them to jail you. The chances are they care way less about what you are doing than you think they do.

Your mother wants a grandbaby? Well, she can adopt her own baby. You need to have a baby because you want one more than life itself. Because if anything is going to alter your freedom, that is it. I believe having a child is the one decision that will have the single greatest impact on your freedom. This is the one relationship you cannot walk away from. You created this person and you are responsible for this person. If you are not 100% sure you want to have a child, maximize your freedom by practicing safe sex. PLEASE.

The key here is to realize that you always have choices and to make them very, very wisely. You chose to be in relationships and you can chose to end relationships. Other people can’t take away your freedom unless you let them.

4.) Deal with your addictions. If you are addicted to anything – drugs, tobacco, alcohol, a person, food – whatever – you aren’t free. I’m not going into detail on dealing with addictions, but if you have one, you know darn well the thing you are addicted to controls you. And that’s about as far from free as you can get. Addictions are some of the hardest things in the world to break and few can go it alone – there are many resources on the Internet to help you. Please use them – you only have one life and none of those things are worth trading it for.

5.) Take good care of your health. We can’t control all aspects of our health, but we can have a big impact on it. And your health definitely impacts your freedom. I’ve had people in my seminars who couldn’t go kayaking because they were too overweight to fit in the boats. If you can’t walk up a flight of stairs without being winded, it will impact what you are free to do. Doing a few things can have a huge impact on your freedom – getting enough sleep, exercising, and maintaining a healthy weight.

I’m going to use myself as an example here. I have arthritis in my hip and it does impact my freedom. I can’t run at all. I can’t walk nearly as fast and as far as I used to. Some nights I can’t sleep. I’m doing everything I can to manage it, but use me as an example of how health issues can impact your freedom. Do everything you can to protect your health – after you lose it, it may be too late.

Back to chocolate next!!


diane said...

Thank you! once again for reminding us of what we have & our responsibility for our freedom. I've taken your advice (on more than one occasion) and re-evaluated my position on several aspects of my life. Besides, since you're such a bad ass, the hip thing won't keep you down ;)

Denise Ryan said...

Hee, hee - Diane - you are the best!!!

Lisa Fields said...


This post was so powerful. Maybe we could market a bumper sticker: No more B.S.
Other's might market another one "Ya, But"

RE: Addictions- I really think if most folks get the best results from 12 step groups so hopefully they will find these if they use the internet.

So many times I think what best sums up for me this topic you discussed for friends, work folks:
Accept you as you are BUT expect you to be the best you can be.

Denise you are strong and powerful!



Denise Ryan said...

Hi Lisa! Thanks so much for the terrific comment!! It made my day! I hope everything is going well for you!!