“You shall be free indeed when your days are not without a care nor your nights without a want and a grief, but rather when these things girdle your life and yet you rise above them naked and unbound.” Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
Except for a couple years when my mother was still alive and we had family get-togethers on holidays, my Fourth of July celebrations have been non-existent. It was just another day, except there was no mail delivery and the banks were closed. So when I realized my newsletter article would be published on the 4th of July, I decided to contemplate freedom and what it means to me, and now I’ll find out what I have to say about it.
‘Big picture’ freedoms are the ones that come with being born in the United States: Freedom to cast a vote; freedom to walk down the street with my head, face and limbs uncovered; freedom to marry anyone I want; freedom to support or protest anything or anyone; freedom to participate in any religious or spiritual teachings I choose; freedom to fly any flag I wish, be it the stars and stripes, the Seahawks, rainbow, or my freak flag… you get the picture. I admit, I take all of the above for granted and unless my freedom to do so is threatened, I seldom give those things a second thought. Certainly, I am grateful for all the ‘big picture’ freedoms I enjoy, I just haven’t spent much time beinggrateful. Most of the time I have just lounged in the shade…
“We can sit in the shade or move into the sunshine. Sitting in the shadow we may not really believe that there is any sunshine. But the sun would be there all the time, and all the time we are in bondage, the real freedom exists. It is there but we must awaken to it.” Ernest Holmes, Science of Mind,411.3
But my #1 freedom is this: When I step out of the shade into the light of my consciousness, nothing is more precious to me than my freedom to choose. What is currently on my plate presents to me a beautiful opportunity to choose the brightest sunshine imaginable: My beloved Aunt Von — soul sister, mother when I needed her to be, confidante and dearest friend — is fighting for her life… again… and she’s tired. Of course, I do treatments for her, but what I know for her isn’t what I would have ‘prayed for’ in the past, when prayer was ‘out there’. I don’t pray for her to get better or to get out of the hospital soon (she may not even want that!) I simply know wholeness, ease, and peace of mind as the Truth of her; this knowingness can be no other way because she/I/we all live and express in Divine Mind/God/Spirit as individualized sparks of the One Life. I know that regardless of any apparent disease, the life flame that fills Aunt Von can never be extinguished. Her body form will eventually relax and let go, as will everyone’s, but the Life that fills her will continue to shine brightly in a way totally unknown to me (yet)!
I feel so grateful that I can choose how to ‘be’ in this situation. I allow myself the freedom to get scared and cry and to not make myself wrong for doing so, and I allow myself to feel joyous even in the midst of her suffering (and, again, to not make myself wrong for doing so). My job is to remember that there is only God, and to look for the God/Good in everything. How could I stay fear-filled and sad as I remember and experience this truth? I just feel love – love for her, love for me, love for Omnipresent God which is radiant light and love everywhere, everywhen, always and forever without end… THIS is the freedom in which I live, in which we all live. God.
“If you can see God in everything, then God will look back at you through everything. When the time comes that nothing goes forth from you other than that which you would be glad to have return, then you will have reached your heaven.” Ernest Holmes, This Thing Called You, 24
Happy Independence Day, everyone! May we all be filled with a sense of sunshine-y freedom!
By Renee’ Mezzone