If you are inclined to follow the news or politics you may have a very negative view of the word freedom for this Fourth of July. We are surrounded with stories disgruntled citizens and questionable constitutional practices. Everyone is angry that his or her voice is not being heard. Everyone wants a change. Many can’t put their finger on what that change should be. For me it is quite simple. Change is often uncomfortable.
We all have the freedom to stretch beyond our comfort zone, but do we want to? Is the unknown scarier than the current reality? For some, freedom is the ability to refuse change. I respect all views, but I would argue that change is inevitable. Within my own family I have changed roles many times. Necessity requires that we do what we must for the higher service of our loved ones. This is often the case with many things. As a child my father would go off to work to return home late in the evening. We would glamorize his efforts like a man returning from war each day. He certainly had his battles and unknown challenges that were never shared with his family. But within the confines of his home he had the freedom to be the king of his castle. What he did at home was above reproach.
Now that I am also a husband and father of two boys I was forced to change my role within my family. My wife needed help and my boys needed my presence. This change was a departure from what I’ve experienced as a child. The idea that I needed to work as much or more within my home versus my job was a tough pill to swallow. All the thoughts of fairness and comparison flew through my head. Why can’t we be like the neighbors? Why can I not be like my father? I pay bills, right? Why can’t my wife be like the fictional wives on television? After much soul-searching I began to ask deeper questions. Why do I have to be like my neighbors? Why do I work a job that mentally and emotionally drains me to the point where I have nothing for my family? Why do I compromise my freedom to have happiness be whatever I need it to be? So I decided to change. That’s not to say the answers came quickly. But I was committed to the process.
Within two years I sold a business, closed a business, started a nonprofit, worked as a daycare provider, purchased a daycare, and went back to school to receive an advanced degree in nonprofit management. On top of all this I was able to deepen my relationship with my wife and my kids. Our relationship with money certainly changed. But I would argue that it has developed into the happiest time for our family. We were fearful at times. Our kids truly did not understand why we would change the system that already worked for them. I had to explain many times that it was not working for all of us. I think they are finally starting to get it as they discover there is always a different way if you are open to looking for it. I know that I am.
Freedom is the ability to be truly authentic in your life. To realize that you don’t have to compromise your own values in order to respect others values. We are all placed in this world with different gifts and different burdens. I believe lessons can be learned from both. This too is a freedom of choice. Native Americans believe that there is wisdom in nature. I agree. There is wisdom in all things if we take the time to understand before seeking to be understood. These times may seem strange for some and uncomfortable for others. But that’s okay. It’s as inevitable as night turning into day. Throughout my life I believed that life was about either vs. or choices. My faith now allows me freedom to choose both. We all have this freedom and life would be so much richer if we allow ourselves to use it.
© 2016 Taurus Bennett, All rights reserved.
Taurus just shifted. He sold his insurance business and is now pursuing his soul’s purpose as a grant writer and Community Outreach activist. Taurus is a volunteer for CASA, advocating for foster children, and an engaged husband and father.