Journey to Faith

Journey to Faith
Follow your own path

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

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.

We in America are free from the oppression that faced our founding fathers, but many today are in bondage of another kind -  emotional and spiritual bondage.  They lack peace and joy so they become addicted to drugs, alcohol, work, exercise or some other means to medicate themselves, but these things are only band-aids that mask the real problem. There is a freer life awaiting each of us and there are steps we can take to make it a reality. Here are 4 things you can do to have more joy, less drama, and experience more freedom:

1. Choose carefully. 
We in this country have freedom of choice. We can choose who and what we allow into our lives. We can choose to learn better patterns of relating to others. We can choose what thoughts we dwell on. We can choose thoughts of faith and positivity, rather than thoughts of fear, worry and negativity. Emotional freedom begins first and foremost in our mind.

2. Pay attention. 
Contrary to how I was raised, it is very important to pay attention to our feelings. Now, I am not saying we should let our feelings control us but we do have to be aware of them and figure out what they are trying to tell us. They are internal indicators of what is going on with us. Am I feeling depressed? Anxious? Sad? Hurt? Rejected? Lonely? All of these are warning signs that something is not right. Ask yourself what is going on in your life that is making you feel that way and then ...

3. Take action.
The founding fathers had a cause they believed in and were committed to. They took action. In the same way, if we are committed to a freer life, we must take action: to heal ourselves emotionally and spiritually if we want to achieve our goals and dreams, enjoy better relationships, and live a freer life.
Change doesn't just happen. We have to make it a priority if we want to enjoy a better life. When we do what we can, God will step in and do what we can't. So what can we do?

4. Set  boundaries. 
Just as the early settlers said "No" to England's oppressive rules and taxation, we, too, must say no to people and behaviors that are not good for us which includes saying "No" to people we love and care for. To be emotionally free means to be free from the drama and turmoil that spiritually immature people bring with them such as verbal assaults, constant chatter, guilt and blame trips and manipulative and controlling behaviors. Once we learn to recognize these behaviors for what they are, we can call attention to them and set limits with these people. The energy we expend dealing with negative people can be better used to focus on our goals and dreams.

We must also set limits on the demands on our time and energy. The world is always clamoring "do more, have more, buy more". This is lunacy. We really don't need to do as much as we think we have to do or have as much as we think we need to have. You will survive without the latest iPhone or high def television. These are not necessities. They are luxuries. There is a blessing from living a simpler, slower, less complicated life and that is emotional peace.

We don't need to feel guilty about setting boundaries. Saying "no" is a form of self-care which is crucial to living an emotionally free and peaceful life.

If we want to live free, we must choose peace and freedom every day over being controlled or manipulated by someone or something 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.

Do you feel emotionally free?  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?

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

Stay tuned for more practical and spiritual tips on how to ignite the power within!

Until next time, keep looking up!