What does freedom mean to you?
A couple weeks ago, I got the message to guard my heart, to guard my body, to keep from getting hurt.
Inside, I retorted back: What good is my heart and body if I cannot share it? Who is it serving at that point, and why should I give in to fear? Now I’m not suggesting that anyone just go and cause harm to themselves because of it but really, haven’t I already shared my heart and body over and over to those I love? To those I care for? And for the new people that come into my life, how am I serving myself by hiding away? To prevent harm and hurt then? How am I to learn? To spread my wings? To find the people who can even better support me?
What it comes down to for me is that I know I honor my body by listening to it, heeding its wants and desires, feeding it well, stretching, moving, acknowledging its pains and hurts. I’m not perfect, but I continually to learn how to better communicate with my body. I honor and love it, from the tiniest cell and all its components to the largest of muscles and organs. I love and appreciate this body and all that it does for me.
And in this way, I am free to move and treat myself with honor and dignity. And in honoring myself, I hold my actions as an example by which to honor others with respect and unwavering support.
There was a note recently that I received from one of the newsletters I subscribe to. It states, “For all of the reasons you might draw someone into your life, one would never be to find their faults.”
Too often, we criticize ourselves over the simplest things. Lately, I’ve noticed now we, in general, are quick to critique the flaws and shortcomings of others. And maybe I’ve noticed it more because I seem to be on that receiving end of critique and blame as of late. Thankfully, I’m taking it all in stride and recognizing that what I do may not always make sense to others and that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. And while the delivery of such criticism could use some work, I also recognize that the bigger picture is to change that constant flow of criticism to one of positivity, one kind word, one good deed at a time.
One of my classes has an exercise of gifting perfect strangers with a $5 bill. Now, coming from someone who’s financial situation was particularly rocky the last couple of months, this was a stretch and I put off completing it for a number of reasons – this is a stupid idea, I don’t need this exercise to know the meaning of generosity, I don’t even have extra money lying around, I hate approaching strangers, what if I get in trouble, what if they refuse, what if they use the money for bad things, and so on and so on.
I did it anyway, giving one $5 bill to a stranger. She declined it at first, and multiple times actually. Eventually, she accepted it and we both moved our separate ways. It was easy to see her arguments, that she didn’t deserve it, that she hadn’t done anything to earn it, that it wasn’t right to accept kindness from strangers – they would have been my own too if someone approached me like that. But in the end, I’m so glad she took the bill – it made me feel good, to make someone’s day a bit brighter, and I’m hoping that in doing so, she can pass on the good deed to someone else at some point too. I hope she feels good too, knowing there’s still kindness out there.
The take home? If there’s so much resistance to receiving even something as small as $5 (which I know can be quite a large amount to others), isn’t that a reflection of how hard it can be to receive in general?
It’s time then, too, to receive all kinds of good and kindness because in doing so, I honor myself and allow all of that to flow even easier from me to others.
So I say to you today, on this fourth of July weekend here in the states, you are awesome, all parts of you. Truly, you bring awe to me and those around me. You inspire me. I see your perfect self. And I think you’re wonderful as you are. Please accept my love and gratitude for your presence in my life.
Note – make sure you click on the image below to get its full message. I don’t know why it’s only showing a thumbnail and I can’t seem to find any settings to change that…