My very first blog entry “taking my own advice” had something to do with the idea of “freedom”, but tonight I was reviewing a journal that I had been writing in for over a year and I opened right to 7/18/09…exactly one year ago tonight. Coincidence? I think not!
The quote at the top of my journal entry that night is from one of my favorite authors, Rachel Naomi Remen, MD. She writes in her book, Kitchen Table Wisdom, “Freedom may come not from being in control of life but rather from a willingness to move with the events of life, to hold on to our memories but let go of the past, to choose, when necessary, the inevitable. We can become free at any time.”
Wow. How many of us realize we have the power—at any given moment—to choose to free ourselves from whatever is bothering us?? I know I often forget that wisdom. There are aspects of my past that I stubbornly cling to, as if letting go of them will somehow mean they never happened and the lesson I know I was meant to learn from them will be lost. But, no. As Dr. Remen says, I can hold onto those memories WHILE letting go…letting go of the unproductive guilt, the nagging disappointment in myself, the searing shame. Freedom from the tyranny of our negative thoughts, painful emotions, and cyclical, unhelpful behaviors IS possible. It’s mine, yours, ours to choose at this very moment.
When I first made the decision to get out of B.E.D. and break the chains that tied me to the binge cycle, I was stunned by the fact that all the while my left hand had been chained to that cycle, my right hand held the key. Of course, there are often systemic forces in play that make freedom from certain pain difficult. But freedom to choose our attitude and response to life’s events cannot be taken away from us. Will you embrace your freedom today?
Peace, joy, and health!