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This One Lesson gives You Freedom

When I was first out on my own and going off to college, I was grateful for how accepting and flexible my Mom was regarding when I would celebrate the holidays with her and my Dad. Since she didn’t have a story about how she HAD to see me on any particular day, it freed me up to make other choices without throwing guilt my way. Eventually, I came to see that not everyone is so free with their expectations.

One of the lessons from A Course in Miracles that helped me to understand how freedom is a choice was the lesson:

“I have given everything I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place] all the meaning that it has for me.”

This lesson was ultimately life altering for me. It also helped me to understand my past disappointments and struggles. One example was when my son became a young adult, he seemingly hated me.  I tried for years to get him to like me. I thought my children should like me. I wanted him to see that I was a good person with a beautiful heart. He didn’t. The gift he offered me was that through all of my feelings of abandonment and rejection, I finally realized that it wasn’t his job to love me or even like me. It was mine. A couple of years ago, my son asked me how I made it through the time he was so cruel to me. My response? “I took my power back from you. I realized that I got to love you regardless of how you felt about me and that you had nothing to say about it. I also realized it wasn’t your job to love, value and respect me. It was my job to love, value and respect myself.”

For quite some time, I had used my son to feel bad about myself. Then, I used my son for my own personal growth to once again align with love. I define myself as love. I learned that when I am triggered or hurt, there is something up for ME to heal. It never has anything to do with anyone else whether they are acting loving and kind or like an asshole.

No one else gets to decide for me whether a relationship, a t-shirt, or my favorite pillow should or shouldn’t be important to me. I get to decide all of the meaning those things have for ME. I also get to decide whether that favorite shirt that I used to wear is something I even like anymore. What was or is important to me today, may or may not continue to be important to me tomorrow.

I know, that same freedom I have, extends equally to everyone else (whether they know it or not). I also know what it is like to bury a 9 day old daughter. Burying my daughter helped to put all my relationships in perspective. Since I experience myself as love, in order to be authentic, I bring love of self and love of others into all my choices. Sometimes that looks like making loving choices for myself, while sometimes that looks like extending love to others. Balance is always an important consideration. Sometimes when my tank is empty, the most loving thing may be to tuck myself in.

Why am I sharing this story now? Because around the holidays there can be a lot of expectations as to what you should or shouldn’t be doing. I am inviting you to pause; to pause and reflect on what meaning you have given any action or inaction or any thing. Is it authentic to you and your beautiful heart? If so, carry on. If not, consider choosing again. For you have given everything all the meaning that it has. Knowing that frees you from being a victim. Knowing that means you always have a choice. Freedom is always a good choice.

Speaking of freedom, consider joining me for Spa Time for your Soul, a day of Meditation and Rejuvenation on Saturday, January 13th from 9 am – 5 pm. This intimate gathering offers you a peaceful reset for a healthy start to your 2018.

Thank you for allowing me space in your in-box. I know your time is valuable. May your holidays be filled with the pauses and space you need to live with an open heart; learning, accepting and deciding what your life and all of the people and things in it mean to you.

This post originally appeared in the December 2017 Inner Prosperity Newsletter. You can sign up for our newsletter and get these gems in your inbox as well as a free guided mediation on peace.

RitaLaughingSquare150About the author: Rita Henry, founder of Inner Prosperity in Des Moines, Iowa, is an intuitive counselor who has helped thousands of people live more joyful, authentic lives. Rita’s unique approach combines powerful energy work, Qigong, meditation, and breath-work to help clients heal the mind, body and spirit. Rita provides essential, unwavering support through individual sessions and a wide range of group-centered classes, workshops and retreats.


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