Independence is defined as the power or right to act, speak or think as one wants without hinderance or restraint. But independence and freedom are not without responsibility. To be truly independent in life, means at some point, we must learn to put restraints on ourselves. For example, if we say or do whatever we want, we may end up in jail or broke. Both could result from expressing our “right to be independent & free.”
Real personal freedom often requires delayed gratification, willingness to settle for less, understanding there are things we can do without…or as the expression goes: Getting what we get and we don’t get upset.
Choosing to be highly materialistic, keeping up with the proverbial Joneses…is a fast path to losing our freedom. Check-to-check living, worrying about payments is not fun. Most of us have likely experienced this at some point & some may be in financial straits today. Eating or drinking excessively are also freedoms, but neither work out so well, if our health fails as a result.
When that urge to splurge strikes, and faulty thinking is making us think about what we’re “entitled to” — stop and consider:
- It’s human nature to desire, win & improve our circumstances. Otherwise, our ancestors wouldn’t have survived, as they’d have been eaten by wild beasts.
- Yet, there are things we need for our survival & those we think we want but aren’t really necessary, don’t improve anything for us & are usually not appreciated once we get them.
- Social status is elusive; someone will always have something that we don’t.
- Aiming for experiences & making memories will always be uniquely ours— no matter how simple they are.
- Striving to win over approval from others is a losing game. We must give ourselves permission to be the Approval Master.
- Practice appreciation for what we have already—particularly health. If we’re healthy we’re really very lucky. From health, comes the greatest possibility to exercise our freedom: to move, to speak, to dance, to be & to choose to live.
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