Freedom is in the air.
Most of us are still reeling in disbelief, some in dismay and some in jubilation, from the Supreme Court’s rulings on marriage last week. Whatever our feelings, millions of people are suddenly free to take on the rights and responsibilities of that institution.
Also hard to believe is the news that the U.S. and Cuba have just agreed to open up mutual embassies, as their decades-long enmity begins to defrost. It won’t happen overnight, but the outcome of greater freedom for Cubans on the island is inevitable.
A symbol of oppression, subjugation and injustice for many, the Confederate flag is finally being taken down in one state after another. Yet sometimes it seems like the greater the light the longer the shadow, as this country works through — painfully — its heritage of racism. The recent rash of burning black churches in the south boggles the mind and weighs down the heart.
In our world, we still have a great deal of work to do regarding freedom. And that’s just for the more outward freedoms, such as the right to speech, to practice our beliefs, to vote, to be who we are, to pursue happiness.
If we are going to be free, really free, the question of freedom runs much deeper. Even among those of us fortunate enough to live in the developed world with a roof over our heads, access to education, plentiful food, electricity and water, choices and, to a considerable degree, freedom, a large majority is still caught up in a rat race trying to make ends meet at the end of the month – -barely surviving, certainly not thriving.
And how many of us are selling ourselves — our precious life-force and irreplaceable time — for the illusion of security that a measly bi-weekly paycheck provides? How many of us are still suppressing who we are for fear of losing our jobs, or simply for fear of abandonment? How many are selling out on our dreams, our true calling, out of fear of “how will I pay the bills?” How many of us have stuffed ourselves into little boxes and soul-devouring situations so as not to make waves or risk rejection? How many of us are stuck in self-made prisons, living under the tyranny of the ego mind, slaves to its fearful and reactive machinations?
To free ourselves we have to be willing to examine our belief systems and undo our conditioning, to dig deep underneath the lies and misunderstandings we have taken on. Only we can do it. No one can do this work for us. We have to be willing to question the beliefs, mores and dogmas handed down by family, society, religion, culture — a demanding process, certainly not one for the faint of heart. We are willing to be wrong. We commit to doing the work to understand what the ego is, see how it operates in ourselves, to pull back our projections.
In a real sense we are engaging in a “holy war” with our own selves. That is the real meaning of jihad: the inner struggle with the lower tendencies of the ego. Overriding our own reactivity, the need to be right and to win. Resisting the desire to strike back when someone does something hurtful, or to defend and erect defensive walls when we feel attacked. Overcoming our ego’s laziness and resistance, when it is time to go the gym or sit down and write. Letting go of the need to control people and circumstances.
The outcome of this holy war is self-knowledge, self-acceptance, self-mastery, inner peace. Eventually we free up energy from all the conflict and power sapping effects of the inner struggle. There are no more games to play and we discover freedom of expression: I am who I am wherever I am, no matter what. I am whole and complete within myself and I stand alone if need be. That’s freedom.
So, as we in the U.S. celebrate freedom this weekend, let’s be grateful for the freedoms that we have. Let’s also commit to go further, to go for freedom in the larger and deeper sense of the word!
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GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News