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An Inner March for Freedom

August '13

I’m composing this issue of Midlife Discovery on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, where Martin Luther King delivered his famous, “I Have a Dream” speech. Newscasters remind us of the fear of violence that permeated the cultural atmosphere before this march for freedom began. And yet when over 250,000 people gathered together in our country’s capital, peace reigned.

This history got me thinking about making an internal march for freedom. What might that look like? A natural starting point would be an understanding of where you lack inner freedom, although personal shackles are often invisible. Perhaps an example will help. Ponder these two questions for a minute.

1. Do you sometimes say “yes” to requests, when your heart is whispering, “no”?
2. Or do you automatically say, “no” to requests without listening to your heart, because you feel so overwhelmed?

If you answered “yes” to either of these queries, you’re not free to do what you truly want when responding to the requests of others. Congratulations on this awareness! Knowledge of where you lack freedom is the first step on the march for more independence in your life.

In this example, the next step might be to institute a personal policy of not responding to any appeals for your services immediately. Instead, you can respond to any such entreaty with a comment like, “May I think about it and get back to you tomorrow?”

Then take the time to truly discern what you want to do. You have three basic options: you can give a definite yes; you can suggest a counter offer, or you can say no. For example, someone asks you to bake brownies for your son’s school-library bake sale.

Option 1: (Yes) You love baking; brownies are simple; you have all the ingredients in your cupboards, you decide to say “yes.”
Option 2: (Counter Offer) On the other hand, you don’t have the ingredients at hand; you’re pressed for time, but you could easily stop by the local bakery to pick up a dozen brownies, so you want to present a counter offer.
Option 3: (No) Or, you’re tired of always being asked to bake, your cupboards hold nothing promising, you’ve got way to much on your plate, so you really want to say, “no.”

In this last instance, if you usually say, “yes,” you will need to call on some courage for a “no.”  You may anticipate some violent reactions from others as you march for your own freedom with a response of “no.” A more likely encounter is with your own inner violence in the guise of harsh judgments about your own behavior – for example, you feel guilty for saying, “no.” Go easy on yourself; you’re navigating new territory – just as those marchers were 50 years ago. Perhaps their courage can inspire you.

If you decide to forge ahead for your own internal freedom, please share your experience, or any previous experience where this kind of march set you free. I’d love to hear about it.

Happy journey,

Bonnie

 

 

 

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Helga Matzko said on August 29, 2013:

    Hello Bonnie I so relish to read your newsletter and I am presumptive enough to imagine you are always writing specifically for me. How well you understand human nature and most likely you touch many of your followers as I am touched each time I read something from you. Your ideas are supportive and reassuring on many levels. i.e. I have not yet had the time to begin writing the program I purchased from you some time ago. However, I will be going on a vacation in Deutschland, where I feel at home, safe and comfortable and I will begin my writings. To have time just for myself is truly a gift from God – and – my husband of 91 will be very happy to be attentive to whose own thoughts and meanderings. As always, Bonnie, you have touched my heart in a very special place again and I want to say Thank you from my heart and Soul. Thank you for being in my life. Helga

  2. Bonnie said on August 30, 2013:

    Hi Helga!

    Thank you for these extraordinarily kind words – they are a true gift! I wish you a wonderfully relaxing, nourishing and illuminating vacation in Deutschland.

    Your comments touched my heart,
    Bonnie

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