Saturday, July 21, 2007

What is True Freedom?

It seems like certain people love the ability to indulge themselves to excesses ... and this is what "our society at large" seems to gives the impression of. That Americans indulge themselves too much ... and somehow true freedom has morphed into the freedom to hurt yourself (and others as it ripples out from there).

For all the spirituality chasing-after we also seem to do as a society at large, we somehow still manage to stop seeing the spiritual connections in our own day-to-day minutiae after a certain point. As if it were all just too much work to really consider your own spirit moments and connection to God just as you walk down the street.

The overindulgence - and - freedom to hurt oneself attitude is such a painful way to do things, not to mention the results of some of these behaviors are costly on so many levels -- literally, physically and financially, then on the whole emotional/mental scar anguish that takes so much time to heal.

I think true freedom means acknowledging certain things definitely have the capacity of hurting us. When we know that of ourselves and of certain things, then we now have the freedom to say 'no' to those things, and not indulge in and practice them. Yes, that actually means telling some of our friends "no". Sadly this is also sometimes when you figure out who your real friends are, too.When we move into that place of seeing what hurts us and saying 'no' to them, we get to a whole new level of character and maturity.

I think this is what some people usually TRY to call "growing up"; only I also think some people have mistaken "growing up" with becoming dry and boring, which is not the case at all!

I barely knew my grandparents. I know I am missing a bit of continuity in my life from that lack of knowledge --- from that unfamiliarity with the continuance and treasuring of the family line and etc., I know in some homes some people use 'family' as a stranglehold to dominate the futures of some in their line; but I am not talking about families gone wrong. I am talking about the simplicity of knowing that we get born, we grow up, we go through life-phases and each phase has a preciousness to it that we are not even treasuring for what enjoyment they are. People get so caught up and so busy chasing after what they DON'T have, they don't ever get to enjoy the phase they're IN to the fullest. It's nutty. (I've done it myself. I know.)

I wonder what it would like if we can be honest and share with each other what happens as we get older .. how our points of view can expand from what we've learned from what we've done in the past, and if we help each other to just expectantly enjoy the process of maturing and growing up. How growing up, maturing and -- gasp! -- aging can be such an amazing growth of character and an incredible journey of becoming and being a person.

People age. It happens. Why can't we appreciate all the ages we as people live through? Why can't we treasure that in each other, or at least respect that in each other?

This is where character comes from. Strength of character to know oneself and to know what is a kinder, gentler approach to doing things.

I think this is what I like about many of our Nashville leaders. They are men and women of character. And when any fail for any reason, they even have had character enough to step down. And those who can stay strong, know that the leadership position they hold is for the greater good of the city.

Gosh, we have a mayor to vote for next month, you know.

Yes, I'm being optimistic and hopeful and encouraging and dreaming and looking for a better and even brighter future for Nashville; a city filled with men and women of great character and love for their neighbor. Of course I look for this. I am an artist. It's part of my job. :)

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