by Lori Dixon
Freedom in Faith; It’s a Choice
Imagine a life of freedom. What would it look like?
Many people will define freedom differently based on their location, background,
experiences, etc. While many of us believe we are "free", I ask you to
look a bit closer at what you consider being free.
Can you say that you are free of inner struggle? Can
you say that you are free of outward struggle, for that matter? Are you free to
be all that you desire to be? The list goes on!
Consider your own areas where you might not be free.
What is it that holds you back? You might say, "If I had that answer, I’d
be free!" But we do have the answer, and that answer is Faith. Now we ask
ourselves, what is faith, and what is it that we need to have faith in?
The faith I talk about here is faith that there is a
greater purpose to our existence, that the universe is not random….EVERYTHING
happens for a reason. Some might find this faith and freedom in God, others in
Nature, a Higher Power, you name it.
When we have this type of faith, our areas of bondage
disappear. Our struggles seem insignificant. We become loving, accepting,
confident, and this list goes on too! We are set free. When we have this type of
freedom, there are no limits.
If you are reading this, I would guess that you believe
there is a bigger picture, that there is more to life than what it appears to be
on the outside. I would also guess that if you are not yet committed to your
soul’s purpose, you are very close to making that commitment….you are
seeking, and that is your commitment….to continue seeking.
I remember coming to the awareness that there MUST be
more to life. At first it was a very lonely, scary, isolated experience. If
there was more to life, what was it that I had been doing all those years? And
if that was not all there was, what do I do now? What becomes of me and the life
I had built?
As I began to explore and seek, I somehow knew that I
had actively begun my life’s pursuit, although I didn’t quite know what that
meant! I just knew it was not something that would go away…. I had opened the
door. For many of us, opening that door is not a comfortable experience. We find
that our lives no longer fit, our friends no longer fit, sometimes our families
don’t even fit; at least, not in the beginning. We may wonder, what is wrong
with us? Although we had always felt we were "different". We know it
is a good thing.
Looking back, the beginning years of my seeking were
not easy, and as "they" say, if I would have known then what I know
now, it would have been a lot easier. Remember what I said, EVERYTHING happens
for a reason, and at times we need the struggle in order to get where we’re
going. You can probably see the patterns in your past, and that they have made
you what you are today.
What does this have to do with freedom and faith? Faith
allows us to give up our struggles and be free. That does not mean "give
up!" We must still be responsible, actually MORE responsible than before…for
now we are choosing the bigger truth, and in choosing, we take responsibility.
Faith is a choice, and we are the only ones keeping ourselves from having faith.
Thus, we are the only ones keeping ourselves from being truly free. We may
choose to blame people or circumstances. We may choose to procrastinate due to
our busy lives. We may choose to believe that we know better and we have
control. But always, we have a choice. Faith is a choice.
10 Simple Choices Toward Freedom
1. Choose to have faith;
2. Choose to surround yourself with positive
3. Choose to write and journal (try substituting
15 minutes of writing for 15 minutes of television)
4. Choose to be involved in a prayer or
meditation group (it’s great to do alone, but the group part is key!)
5. Choose to give (it doesn’t have to be money…it
can be a compliment, time, a smile);
6. Choose to make the "right" decisions…
EVERYTHING is a choice. What do YOU choose?
7. Choose to be disciplined in one thing per day…add
on as you succeed;
8. Choose to yield (keep your boundaries where
9. Choose to let go of negative situations;
10. Choose to be free.
Writing and Reflection
I have found, for myself and as a counselor for my
clients, that one of the best tools for setting oneself free is writing. Almost
all of us have the experience of reflecting on our desires, our blessings, our
issues, our past; some may even consider their reflection as obsessing because
they can’t seem to get things out of their minds. While reflection is of great
benefit when we are able to do it quietly, consistently and calmly, I suggest
that writing is a tool that takes us to the next level and allows us to reap the
benefits of reflection.
Ask anyone you know who keeps a journal or makes lists,
why they do it. You will find that it helps them to feel better in some way.
Making lists can help to allow your mind to be free to deal with other things
and journaling can work in much the same way….it frees our mind.
Journaling doesn’t have to be difficult or a burden.
In fact, it is easy, fun and fulfilling; not to mention that it can be fun to
buy or make a special journal. The more you commit to it, the more you will get
from it. In my years of journaling I have altered and changed the way I journal
based on the changes I went through myself. Sometimes I didn’t journal at all,
but I always seemed to come back to it. I received my first "diary"
for Christmas when I was in 6th grade. I began to write in it and
tell the deepest secrets a 12 year old could have, fearing my brother would find
it and know how to unlock it! As I got older, I continued to journal, usually in
composition books or school notebooks, and a teacher my sophomore year in high
school even required it….full blown with a dream journal. At that time I didn’t
understand, I just thought it was an assignment and I have to admit to writing
many of my entries the night before they were due. At this time I still didn’t
understand what I would come to find later in journaling, but something kept
nagging me to write when I felt down.
I began journaling seriously in college, as a way to
vent frustrations, to write what I was feeling when I felt no one would
understand and no one had any helpful advice. Somehow, I always felt better
after I wrote. For years, my journal was my best friend when I didn’t feel I
could connect with people.
Later, I was involved with counseling and wondered
about my past. What was it that made me what I was today? I also had trouble
remembering events before the age of 9. I took to writing in my journal to sort
it all out. That is when it hit me. Something happened when I wrote! Things
became clear, patterns emerged, memories resurfaced. As these things came into
light during writing, I chose to write about them and how I felt, how they
worked to help form who I am today. Sometimes I vented feelings at things I was
angry about, knowing no one would ever read my writings. Something started to
change in me, as if my writings helped me to become clear and then served as a
practice ground for things I had wanted to say. I found myself feeling more sure
of myself, more courageous, more confident. I kept at it. Some of the things I
wrote about I became strong enough to actually say to the person it was about.
Some of the things I wrote about served enough purpose in the act of writing it
that it resolved what I was feeling. At this phase, I moved to journaling on the
A couple years passed and many changes occurred in me,
and writing was an instrumental part of my changes. I felt more clear, more free
and ready to move on to the next level. I felt like I no longer had anything to
vent about, can you believe it? A life with nothing upsetting? It almost felt
boring, yet I was still drawn to write and journal. At this stage in my life I
chose to sit every evening and write "thank you" entries. I would
write down everything I was thankful for, to no one in particular. I found
myself being thankful for things most people wouldn’t think to be thankful
for. "Thank you for this wonderful home I have to live in. Thank you for
the wonderful friends in my life and the ones that continue to come into my
life. Thank you for the opportunity to grow. Thank you for the struggles in my
life that help to make me what I am. Thank you for difficulties that serve to
make me stronger." Etc.
A funny thing happened for me. After 2 months of
writing thank you lists, I actually FELT who I was thanking. I will leave this
experience up to the reader if they so choose. I now thank directly in my
writing and many of my writings have turned to prayers for others also.
So, as you see, writing is a form of reflection that
can take any route. There is no right way or wrong way to do it. If you listen
to what you need inside and let it come out on paper, it will guide you, it will
give you answers, and it will show you where to go next. It will free you and
again, it’s a choice.
Easy Steps to Begin Journaling
1. Use automatic writing. Sit down and write or type
out the first things that come to your mind, no censoring. Write until you
2. Write a letter to someone, never intending to
send it. Destroy it when you are finished if you wish;
3. Write or make lists of what you are grateful
for. Force yourself to see positives where there might not seem to be any;
4. Make Pros and Con Lists;
a. Start out writing a list of questions about yourself
(ex: Why can’t I find that job I want?).
b. Go back at some time and answer them with automatic writing. (ex: I can’t
find that job because I don’t feel confident, because I don’t have the
skills, because nobody wants me).
c. Go back and write solutions.
Copyright © 2000 by Lori Dixon
Lori Dixon has a Masters degree in counseling, is a Clinical
Hypnotherapist, Reiki Master, and undergraduate training in art and art therapy. Lori
currently works from her home studio in Scottsdale, Arizona designing websites and creating
inspirational art that she sells at www.abundancebox.com.