You are free, no matter your circumstance.
You see, freedom exists inside the mind, and your external environment will often be a product of how you see this world. In spite of hardship, lack of freedom of rights by government, parents, family, or co-workers, you have complete control of your mind.
You are creating your reality, and if you don’t like it, all you have to do is ‘think’ differently. You are free to think any way you like, and your environment will adapt. Sure, there are certain aspects of your life that may not change, but how you ‘feel’ about them will.
You are free to make a choice, at all times.
You are powerful, independent, and born free. Your life, as you see it, reflects your internal thoughts, consciousness, and state of mind.
Even during periods of slavery in the United States, there were examples of men and women who saw themselves as free, as so they were. They beat the odds, against the hardest of circumstances, and they became free; but, it all started with a state of mind.
If you accept your reality as it is, and you don’t like it, well, you’re going to be stuck in it. If you don’t like the way your body looks, how you feel, or your energy level, change your mind.
There’s nothing more powerful than making a decision. In fact, it stands to argue that any disadvantage you feel or see in your life is a product of your own mind and intentions. You put yourself in this situation, you created these circumstances in your own life, and you even create the people around you. The conversations you’re a part of are a sub-conscious decision, and all part of your journey.
If you have pain, it’s because somewhere inside, you felt you needed it. I know this might not sound fair, but ultimate responsibility is the most fair aspect of life.
Let me give you an example that is near and dear to my heart. This one was ridiculously difficult for me to admit, and until I did, I lacked ownership of my own health: my digestive issues that almost killed me in October 2014 were my own fault.
If you’re new to the Dr. Kareem Family, then you may not know… but, I have been what most people consider a spitting image of health for many years now. I wasn’t always that way… I used to be a fat kid, with tons of joint pain, and then I learned some powerful lessons about prioritizing my nervous system over my musculoskeletal system, and I felt better, lost weight, and became an iconic Personal Trainer and Physical Therapist in the online and offline health communities.
Yet, my digestive system broke down, my intestines popped, and I almost lost my life. I was given 24–48 hours to live with certain death in front of me, and I battled through absurdly painful surgery after surgery, with an 80% chance of death. I lived my worst nightmare, with an ileostomy bag — at age 32 — hanging off my chest. I turned into the family member with chronic pain and disease that I never wanted to be.
No. I was the opposite. Happy? Also, no. I was miserable, on the inside — subconsciously.
I didn’t realize it, but I was putting tons of pressure on myself. I used to think this would help me rise to the occasion and succeed. I thought ‘stress’ could motivate me. I used caffeine to get through the hard times, and thought this was will-power.
Boy-oh-boy was I wrong… That’s not the answer.
Secretly, I wondered how I could escape a lifetime of disease-ridden bones and joints that were inevitably in my genetic coding. I always thought I might become the victim of my genes one day and ultimately waste away, like my mother has… and like others before her.
Now, I love my mom about as much as any son has ever loved his mother. So, please don’t take this the wrong way. But, I’ve watched her suffer, and, in fact, I became a Physical Therapist to try and help her.
Little did I know the real challenge I would face with my health (and perhaps what she is facing and other family members before her have faced) was my attitude, or my mind. I was not free inside my own mind.
And that was my fault.
The pressure I put on myself…. the intensity with which I lived life… the race-pace with which I fought for success; none of it was good. All of it was self-destructive behavior, and I was unmasking nasty gene after nasty gene.
I had the best doctors in the world, one could argue, when I finally went under the knife. To this day, I remain a mystery to them… but, I’m pretty sure I know what happened.
I needed to find inner peace.
And the hardest part was this was on me, and only me.
That’s scary. At least it was for me. To be completely responsible for myself felt — and still feels, at times — lonely. What about the amazing parental advice I was always given? What about being able to rely on my wife, child, sibling, or friends when I needed a hand? What about other people loving me so much I could get through anything with their support?
This time — no one else could fix me except me.
Fortunately, I found a coach. Someone real special, named Matt Riemann. He referred me to Angie Johnsey, and she reinforced his lessons and slowly taught me how I was creating my own reality. For months, I accepted, and then resisted.
In the end, it was — and is — true.
I still slip up from time to time. But, what I know is that I’m free. And so are you.
You get to make a decision how you feel when you wake up in the morning. You get to make a decision if your extra weight is bothering you. You get to decide if you’re aging too quickly or at exactly the right pace. You get to decide if you want new friends, a new job, or a new life circumstance.
You get to decide.
We are powerful, you and I. We can do this.
We just need to take ‘ultimate’ responsibility, accept it, nourish it, and learn to love it.
Freedom starts and ends with you, no matter what country you’re born in, what’s already happened in life, or who your family is.
You are in charge, like it or not. And what you see every day is a product of how you think, and how you expect the world to be.
Learn from yourself. You have all the answers, deep inside. Trust yourself, the way you wish you could trust someone else. You are amazing, and you’re everything you need in life to be just fine.
Today is your day. Understand what today’s message really represents: freedom.
You are free. Admit it to yourself first. You’ll struggle a bit, and then it will all line up.
You’re amazing, and I believe in you. But, do you believe in you?
I sure hope so — you are your own salvation.
With love, respect, and the knowledge you have the freedom to be anything or anyone you want, I salute you.
I’m so grateful for you,
Originally published at medium.com