“Only free people can hold their purpose and their honor steady to a common end, and prefer the interests of mankind to any narrow interest of their own.” – Woodrow Wilson
Wilson, of course, is speaking of the freedom that citizens (of a country) with liberty have. That, when encumbered by oppression and the like that they cannot hold to an honorable course; they cannot act beyond their own interests.
What about personal freedom? That’s what I’m concerned with, most.
When we are shackled by the influences, and sometimes outright demands of others, we cannot hold true to our own vision. We cannot pursue authentic goals and live our true purpose.
So many of us are living lives only partially of our own design. Subconsciously, to differing degrees, we are living – nay, merely existing – to serve the agendas of others. We must, as the social creatures we are, belong to families, peer groups, work cliques and a society.
So we fit in. We stifle and squelch the voice within that calls us to make the best use of of strengths, talents and gifts. Eventually, the voice becomes so faint it’s effectively silent.
Reviving the voice is gradual process. It’s not as if you can just turn to “it” and ask: “So, what was it you were saying about my purpose? I’m supposed to do what to make best use of my gifts and talents?”
It does start, however, with acknowledging that you may have been ignoring this voice (this Truth… ), and possibly for some time.
Next, get curious about the things you hear, repeatedly, in your world that don’t support authenticity. (Likely you need to get clear on what authenticity is generally, and what – exactly – is “authentic” for you.)
Above all admit, to some extent, that you have been living your life for others, and not in a good way.
Promise yourself you are going to get curious about how you can live an authentic life, looking for ways to use your unique gifts and talents and maintain (and grow) the relationships that nurture you – truly.