I want to be free to be myself and to be able to express my true identity without others dictating what I should do.
I want to be free to be loved, free to love and serve others without restriction or criticalness, free from continuous control, manipulation and striving, free from competition and constant looking over my shoulder, free to rest and enjoy life, and free to be childlike (not childish) and to be who I am called or created to be without apology and condemnation.
Being free and secure is about living in a state of liberty rather than slavery.
There are so many people living in brokenness that they are pretty good at faking it. I do not want to fake it anymore but be able to create and own my own personal story.
So, are you …
(1) Trying hard to strive, achieve, compete, and always wanting to earn everything in life?
(2) Currently living a life of anxiety, fear, and frustration?
(3) Feeling sell-oriented, lonely, and inwardly isolated?
(4) Living without any affirmation, peace, comfort, belonging, or affection?
If you have answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you are most likely living a life of slavery.
Being true to ourselves can feel daunting. It may cause other people to think less of us and give them the opportunity to take advantage of us.
But when I exercise humility and freedom to create and own my own personal story, I gained many allies in addition to personal freedom and security. These are the people you really want to be with – true and faithful friends who sincerely love you for who you are.
I wanted to stop chasing success because I had enough.
So, I asked myself these questions:
“What’s the real motivation for me to live a life of slavery?”
“Why do I need to continue living in fear, rejection, and insecurity?”
“Instead, how can I be living in freedom and in real significance?”
I realized that I no longer wanted to live a life of fear and insecurity. I feared people, criticism, religiousness, and confrontation. There was a constant need to be right, in competition with others, being jealous with everyone and everything, and vying for position and status.
Taking a hard look at myself, I asked myself, “How can I be better?”
So, do you know your true identity? Do you know your life’s purpose?
I am going to walk through with you some areas of focus for living a life of freedom which I have found useful.
We can sometimes be guarded and conditional in the way we express love towards others, in the way we talk, in the things we do, and in our thinking.
The release of love (or even service) is, therefore, conditional on the performance of others towards us as we seek to get our own needs met by others.
I needed to love others without any strings attached or unconditionally. It’s about being able to lay down my life, time, and agenda for those who can give me nothing in return. It’s a different shift in perspective and mindset.
We may know of people who are very competitive and often engage in rivalry, deceit, and even jealousy toward other peoples’ character, successes, and positions.
Being jealous and envious of others is just their way of life. This is how they value relationships with people.
However, to live in total freedom, I must be humble, to unconditionally value and serve people for who they are, and to be able to celebrate in their successes and failures because we are only human, each uniquely and wonderfully created.
To have deep, meaningful relationships with my friends and family, I must make or take the first move. If I can help the relationship grow and mature, then I will do it first. I will initiate action first because I find that people are generally reactive.
Most people have strained and superficial relationships with family and friends because they have always waited for the other person to “make the first move” – to say hello, to organize a hangout or dinner, or even to apologize.
This is where pride comes in. This is something I wanted to get rid of from my life if I wanted the freedom to be a better person.
To live in freedom, I cannot be a slave to pride.
Like most people, I used to be independent and self-reliant, being an island unto myself. But no person is an island.
Because we built for living and existing in communities, I am now happy to ask for and allow others to help me, especially when I do need help.
This may expose me to being vulnerable, but I do not see needing help as making me any less of a person. I simply view helping and being helped as what people living in the community do for each other.
Sometimes, I still strive for the praise, approval, and acceptance of others. But I know I should not if I truly wanted to live in freedom.
For many of us living in performance-oriented homes or culture, we need personal achievements in order to impress others. Our identity is wrapped in our performance and success.
Better still, we volunteer for anything that might get us in the path or sight of the person we are seeking to impress.
I must constantly remind myself that I can rest in a job well done without worrying about obtaining any credit for it.
For many years, I used to be insecure about “what will people think” just because I couldn’t find that place of peace, just to relax, and be myself.
It was a constant looking over my shoulder. It was living life dictated and driven by other people. I was not in control of my own life.
In fact, I was living in other people’s dreams.
Now, I choose to rest in peace for who I am, living the life I choose. I don’t need to know what other people think of me. Who cares what others think of me anyway because I now know my identity and purpose.
Most of us grew up comparing ourselves to others from a very young age.
We compare our grades at school, sports performance, weight, body shape and then later on in life our jobs, cars, and houses.
When we come across someone who seems more successful, more beautiful, or more fulfilled, our hearts sink a little bit more. Our minds start to wonder.
I realized that it’s really no fun trying to “beat the other guy” all the time.
My goal, therefore, is to make everyone compete with me.
It’s about proactively creating opportunities for myself rather than aimlessly reacting to circumstances.
In workplaces especially, there are people who just like to make themselves look good by making others look bad. They need to take advantage of every opportunity to look good for themselves (at the exclusion or detriment of others!) even if that means throwing the other person under the bus or causing them to hurt.
What better opportunity to succeed than through the failures of others!
With an abundance mindset, I really don’t need to strive for affection and permission from others. I have given myself permission to do whatever I want. No one else can.
Knowing that I am valued and deeply loved, there’s no longer any competition with my peers, colleagues, and friends. I live in security in who I am because I know my true identity.
People around you can be insecure, afraid of failure, or afraid of looking stupid in front of others around them. Or they can be just fearful.
To get significantly good or better at anything, I need to fail at it many times. The more I fail, the more I can learn from my failures. I can use these lessons to better ourselves, bringing me closer to success.
Generally, people don’t like to be disciplined because they must always be right or perfect. The view is that there’s always something wrong with other people, not me.
Instead of finding it difficult to embrace submission to people who are disciplining me or even from people in authority, I am respectful and honoring these people. They care enough for me to be able to tell or correct me even if I may not agree with what was said.
Admonition and humility are needed in my life in order to expose and put to death my faults and weaknesses in order for me to be a better person.
Society has conditioned us to seek comfort in addictions, compulsions, escapism, busyness, and hyper-religious activity. People hide away in alcohol, work, volunteering for every possible position, eating, pornography, masturbation, or maybe even sleep.
However, what I needed to do was not to be critical of myself.
Instead, my comfort, peace, and identity come through quietness, solitude, meditation, and prayer. Being able to stop and rest are the keys to my personal freedom.
I no longer want to live in a state of bondage – be it fear, insecurity, fear of people, criticism, religiousness, fear of confrontation, needing to be right, competition, jealousy, vying for position and status, and the list goes on.
Being free is about living in a state of liberty; in a state of freedom.
I want to be free to be myself, free to be loved, free to love others without restriction or criticalness, free from competition, free to rest, free to be childlike (not childish), and free to be who I am called to be without apology.
Living in freedom is all about focusing on our identity to love and serve others.
Life and freedom are not about control, manipulation and striving to achieve the same things that have already been freely given to us in abundance.
There’s so much abundance in this world, if only we change our mindset to claim it.