Journey to Faith

Journey to Faith
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Thursday, June 30, 2016

4 Things You Can Do to Be Emotionally Free

The Fourth of July is already upon us. For many, it is an extra day off from work, a time to grill burgers and get together with friends, and a time to watch fireworks light up the sky. Most of all, it is a time to celebrate our freedom here in this country.

It was on July 4, 1776 that our founding fathers gathered to sign the declaration of  independence to free themselves and many others from British rule. We owe them a great debt of gratitude for the price they paid to loose themselves from bondage under England and to establish this great nation. We also owe a great debt to those who continue to give their lives so that we may remain in freedom.

As a woman who has traveled over much of the world and seen how others live, I appreciate the freedom and privileges I enjoy here in these United States. I am in awe of the fact that by the grace and mercy of God, as a single parent I have achieved the life of my dreams and both my sons are independent and self-supporting men. Now that is something to celebrate! Freedom brings both privileges and responsibilities. Here are 4 things you can do to be and feel more emotionally free:

1. Living free is about choice.
Freedom of choice. I can choose who and what I allow into my life. I have learned it does not matter if someone is related to me or not. How they treat me shows how much they care about me. If a loved one is being hurtful, I can choose how much exposure I have to that person. I choose to control my emotions. I choose to not dwell on negative thoughts. I can choose to focus on the positives and blessings in my life.

2. Living free requires attention.
If we don't want to experience the same hurts and pains from the past, we must be mindful of what is going on with us emotionally and spiritually. Am I feeling depressed? Anxious? Sad? Hurt? Rejected? All of these are warning signs that something is not right. What is going on in your life that is making you feel that way? We need to pay attention to our feelings and then take action.

3. Living free requires us to take action.
The founding fathers had a cause they believed in and were committed to. They took action. I must take action to free myself from emotional and spiritual bondage and to make my dreams a reality.  Living a free life means taking action to learn how to relate better. This requires both parties learn the skills and put forth effort. Good relationships don't just happen. They take work. Living the life we dream of doesn't simply happen on it's own either. We must do our part and allow God to do his. We must also set our limits.

4. Living free requires boundaries. 
Life presents us with all kinds of opportunities to practice living free and setting boundaries. Sometimes we have to say NO to people we love. We don't have to explain or defend ourselves. Secure safe people can accept your no and not try to guilt you into changing your mind or giving in to their demands.

If we want to live free, we must choose peace and freedom over being controlled or manipulated by someone else. I escaped from a controlling and abusive marriage long ago, but the lesson remains. As it says in Galatians 5:1 "Stand fast therefore in the freedom of Christ, and do not be entangled again in the yoke of bondage." Did you get that? Entangled. If we are not paying attention to who and what we allow into our lives, we will be entangled again. Many people who live in fear are insecure. We must set boundaries with fearful and insecure people or they will continue to hurt us out of their own insecurities and fears. 

Do you feel free? Are you truly free? Are you living the life of your dreams? Or do you feel entangled in something that is stealing your freedom, peace, and joy? What or who are you committed to? What actions are you taking to see your dreams become a reality? What do you need to say "no" to in order to have more freedom?

Have a safe and celebratory Fourth of July!. Happy birthday, America, and may God bless us always! 

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Until next time, keep looking up!