Are You Free?
Honorable men have died to protect their countries freedom, which in turn allows us to freely choose what we want to believe in and how we want to live our lives in all areas – spiritually, intellectually, financially and physically.
But many times we may think we are free but the truth is we become slaves to our own bad habits and wrong thinking. Like Michelangelo’s slave on the left (more about that below) we are prisoners stuck in a place where we can’t get out.
Many times these bad habits turn into addictions that stop us from really enjoying life the way we were meant to and if serious enough they can ultimately harm us.
What is it that holds you back from becoming a better version of yourself? Is it un-forgiveness, overeating, alcohol, compulsive thinking about someone or something long gone, gambling, smoking, gossiping, or anything that you know deep down makes you feel like you are out of control?
In the beginning what started as a bad habit you thought you could control may now be in control of you.
Whether big or small any habit that becomes an addition will stifle you from reaching your true potential. As the Spanish monk, John of the Cross so aptly wrote: “Whether a bird is held by a chain or a thread, still it cannot fly.”
The truth is we all have some form of bad habits, but the question becomes are you going to stop it or are you going to allow it to stop you?
When you take an assessment of your life and determine that there are some areas that you want to change, you then need to come up with a plan to rid yourself of these negative behaviors.
First acknowledge that you have a weakness and what it is. You can’t get rid of something you don’t know you have. Bad habits become more powerful until you confront them.
Be accountable to someone who will support you and kick you in the butt when needed.
Replace the old with something new. A bad habit is nothing but repetitive behavior. Identify the triggers and avoid them by doing something different. For example, if you want to jump on Facebook for the millionth time, get up and get away from the computer. Go for a walk or call someone instead…do anything else to start the process of breaking the old and replacing it with the new.
Reward yourself even if it’s just a baby step. Breaking bad habits isn’t easy but what’s easy about living with addictions?
There is nothing that tastes as good as freedom feels.
Inside you is a place of spiritual freedom that will help free you from this self-imposed slavery. Lean on this inner strength to guide you to make
the right choices so that you can become the best version of yourself.
Just think of how good you will feel when you set yourself free!
Wishing you all a wonderful day! Love…Susan
P.S. Thank you for all of the emails. I really appreciate your love and support.
This topic was written as a special request for someone special. Hope it helps.
P.S.S. As many of you know I have a real love for art. When I can I’ll try and incorporate a little glimpse into that side of my world in my blogs.
The picture above is “The Bearded Slave,” one of Michelangelo’s four Slaves, (some refer to them as Prisoners); the others are “The Young Slave,” “The Awakening Slave,” and “The Atlas.” They are known because they are four sculptures by Michelangelo that are unfinished.
When you look closely you can see the tiny chisel marks made by the master himself. Some people believe that the artist deliberately left these blocks of marble unfinished to represent how we all have our own internal struggles in which we try to be free of.
I used this photo as a way of showing that there is inside each of us a better version of ourselves that we have kept prisoner and who is only waiting to be set free. And once you find yourself and emerge from this self-enslavement what you will find is an incomparable work of art like none other.
As reported in Vasari’s writings, Michelangelo believed the sculptor was a tool of God, not creating but only revealing the beauty inside the marble.
Michelangelo was to chip away at the marble to reveal what was already there. Just as you can chip away your weaknesses to reveal the masterpiece within!
These four works of art, as well as Michelangelo’s DAVID can be seen at the Accademia Gallery in Florence, Italy.