If you’re here, it’s probably because you read this little gem and it spoke to you. If not, and you’re here anyway, then welcome! (You might want to pop over to The Freedom Equation to get oriented!).
Because now, we’re going to get honest.
Remember back to our little equation:
HONESTY + COURAGE = FREEDOM
So we’ve got to start with honesty. Honesty about what we feel, need and want in any given situation. One of the main reasons we live feeling caged is because we aren’t able to access what we feel or need, let alone act on it, and we get stuck in a pattern of believing what we need is to fulfill other people’s needs. Then after a while, we feel icky. Or resentful. Or lay-inside-a-blanket-fort-that’s-actually-just-a-blanket-over-your-head tired.
Let’s set aside acting on our needs until later, when we’ve explored courage a bit. For now, let’s look at how to access our feelings and our needs in any given situation, and particularly in those that are stressful or cause anxiety.
Often, we understand honesty through the lens of suffering. This would be like that time when I made a huge career change and was criticized by everyone around me. If you’d have asked me how I felt, I would have said, “shameful, sad, yet somehow hopeful,” but all I was thinking at the time was, “How can I have less suffering around this?”
And that’s where we sometimes start. We ask ourselves, “What do I feel,” and the answer is usually some sort of pain. Or, it’s the pain that comes from being happy about something that others think is stupid to feel happy about, so then we feel the weight of their opposition like a giant thumb come to pop our happiness bubble. And we question ourselves. And we suffer. And we ask, “How can I have less suffering in this situation?” (Which usually sounds more like, How can this suck less? inside my head). If we use this question, we move forward based on the assumption that there will always be some suffering.
When our solution to freedom, which comes from our honesty, is centered around suffering, we will continue to suffer.
If instead, as Ane Axford put it in a recent video, we can learn to ask, “How might I feel liberated in this situation,” then we start to build a pathway forward based on the assumption that freedom is possible. With this question, we are already starting to build the foundation to freedom with FAITH.
This week, practice tuning into what you feel in any given situation. This requires you to slow down, to take some breaths, to tap into yourself. What do I feel? There are no wrong answers to this question. Write them down. Then ask yourself, How might I be liberated from this situation? Notice what comes up and write it down. We are in the process of getting honest, of tapping into what we feel and what we need. Next week we’ll tackle what we really want as we look forward to building faith and courage in the weeks to come.
Be sure to share your experience with this sensitive community through my Facebook and Twitter pages!
You can live a life with more freedom. It just starts with honesty.