Monday, November 8, 2010

Breaking Free

Two themes seem to abound over here at Discoveries: No Fear and Freedom. Two topics that I am quite passionate about and recently I have come to realize that you cannot have true freedom if you don’t let go of your fear.

So when the Original OldGirl Lady Lee, posted the following quote and asked me to speak on it, I jumped at the chance. The quote was taken from a spiritual workbook entitled: No Other Gods: Confronting our Modern Day Idols by Kelly Minter:

Lack of inward freedom is one of the most agonizing experiences of human existence. The one redeeming aspect is that blessings can grow out of our exasperating struggles with giants who are stronger than we are. I have been thoroughly changed, mostly for the good, from such bouts with weakness and powerlessness, even though it seemed unimaginable at the time.

I have a real burden for people, especially women who are in situations that they believe they cannot get out of. Hearing a woman talk about how hopeless her situation is causes me physical pain. A few days ago I posted a “What’s Wrong with this Picture?”. When the story was told to me, my immediate question was, “Why does she put up with that?” The response was, “Well, she has two young children …” and the sentence was never finished. As if that was reason enough to accept being disrespected and humiliated by someone. I’m thinking to myself, “And?” There had to be more to the story. But there wasn’t.

This woman was clearly suffering from a lack of inward freedom. She acts as though she doesn’t realize that she has options. She acts as though she doesn’t realize that husbands aren’t supposed to treat their wives that way. She acts as though she doesn’t realize that she deserves better. She’s trapped. Not in a bad marriage but in the prison that she has created by her own belief system.

I have too many examples of real-life women who are not free. They are stuck. They feel trapped and hopeless. I’m not going to talk about those women though because, honestly, I don’t really know the whole story. I don’t know why they do what they do. So, I’ll just talk about little ole me.

I’ve been there. I’ve worn the shackles and I’ve gone through life in a daze wondering what happened to me. As Ms. Minter says, it was one of the most agonizing experiences of my existence. Afraid to make decisions, afraid to speak up for myself. Just friggin’ afraid. I believed that if I did something to change my situation than I would be proving to the masses that they were right about me all along. So I decided to suffer in my prison.

Until one day I changed my mind. Just like that. It was enough. I decided the masses could kiss my entire ass. I was tired of being sad. I was tired of being silent and most of all I was tired of not being free. I am a grown woman. I go to work everyday, pay my own bills, raise my own children and I don’t answer to anybody except God. And it was about time that I started acting like it.

I am not weak. I am not powerless. I have within me the power to do whatever I want to do. I rock. I totally rock.

And the blessings that have grown out of making that decision cannot even be measured. I sleep better. I eat better. I spend less time worrying about other folks and their issues and more time doing what I need to do to continue to grow.

If you are thinking: easy for you to say, let me correct you on that one. There was nothing easy about it. It would have been much easier to stay in the prison of my mind because at least I knew that prison. It was comfortable and in a weird way it was also comforting. There were no surprises and there were no risks. But there was a huge chance of me blowing my brains out one day.

We have to be true to ourselves. We are responsible for our own happiness and our own unhappiness. Make a choice. Break free.


Tarsha R said...

Yes yes and a million times yes! I love when I read something from a blogger I admire that reaffirms my decisions and confirms what I know to be true!!

Cyncere Sister said...

Cool! " I am not weak. I am not powerless. I have the power within me to do whatever I want to do. I rock. I totally rock." -- Love it! Stealing it! Look for it on a t-shirt! :)

Diva (in Demand) said...

Just like you say people believe it must have been easy for you......don't you think it's easier to say "break free" if you're already free? Then again I guess that once you've done it you can attest to the fact that it CAN be done....(yeah I just had a conversation with myself in your comments). I definitely admire you for your journey of being fearless and free.....but no matter what you say to me it still sounds hard. Not just hard. It sounds scary as hell. When you decided to be fearless and free what did you do with the thought of "what if I break out and fall flat on my face or fail"????

chele said...

Diva: It is hard. And it is scary. But for ME, prison was way scarier. I would always rather try and risk failure than NOT try at all. Just sayin'.

TJ said...

This is so good!!! Thank you!

LadyLee said...

That was EXCELLENT, Oldgirl... Excellent.

I knew my resident expert on freedom could tackle that one. And you truly did. *lee bowing down to Chele*

~Truly Tina~ said...

I hope you don't mind, but I plan to print this out and add it to my journal. I seriously need to be reminded of these points as I journey through this part of my life. Trust me when I say I can relate 100%. Yes, yes, yes! Thank you for sharing this post. Excellent writing!

Anonymous said...

Great post Chele. I'm going to share this with a few friends. To answer that random question you pondered the other day, "yes you do have another book in you."