Today our nation collectively and privately remembers and grieves the devastation of the 9/11 terrorist attacks fifteen years ago. The theme for today’s blog challenge is freedom, what it means to me and why I do what I do. I wrote my blog post early this morning and I took a break. While I was taking a break, I thought some more about my blog post. I thought of the words I used and the parts I had intentionally left out. I realized since I censored some things, I hadn’t fully communicated what freedom means to me! I had an “aha” moment.
This blog is one of the many outcomes of healing from mental illness. However, I know that if I was still depressed, taking psychotropic medication, suffering with flashbacks from post traumatic stress disorder, and all the other problems I had at the time, I would not be writing any of this! Because somewhere in our world and society we’ve decided not to talk about shameful or painful things. We’ve decided it was not okay to hear about our wounds. We’ve decided we should only talk about positive things.
There is a stigma especially for people who suffer with mental illness. I understand there is a time and a place for these things, yet many times I cried in the darkness of my soul, all alone, because many people just didn’t want to hear about it. For instance, at a ladies meeting at church, we broke into small circles for more intimacy. When everyone was invited to share what’s new in our world, I said I was struggling with side effects of my medication for depression. The facilitator replied, “let’s talk about something more positive.” This was not an isolated incident. It happened over and over again in various situations. Or, sometimes people would say since the hurt happened a long time ago, I should just get over it.
When I think about freedom, it is to live without fear of tyranny, terrorism and oppression. It’s also not living in fear of rejection and having to censor yourself, filter your words to make others more comfortable. I do believe in the adage, “speak the truth in love”; to write and talk with compassion and consideration for others. I eventually came to accept my truth and not hide in shame or embarrassment of it. This is how we grow and learn to accept, love, and honor ourselves which leads to healing. It is listening with an open heart, and giving space to someone who might not have all their stuff together. It is being authentic and honest. I realize some people can’t handle the truth, and they live in fear of others finding out. Fear is a cage we lock ourselves in real tight with the illusion of keeping our secrets safe.
It is perfectly normal and okay to grieve as long as it takes. It’s okay be a work in progress. There’s no rule of how long it takes. It’s okay to be in therapy, have a psychiatrist and take medication. Do what it takes for you, precious ones!! Don’t let anyone make you feel less than or inferior because you have different problems or deal with life in your own way. Life is beautiful and we are meant to be free to express ourselves in our own fashion.
Freedom is sharing from the heart what is most important to me. It is having compassion for myself and others because I’ve been there. It is living free without fear of what others are going to say or do. It is living comfortably in my own skin, with my own personality quirks, and accepting all of it. It is being my own unique self and not in competition with anyone else. I can only do me, and choose to be my best self each day. It is being free to shine my light, a la Sophia style!
“This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 2 [insert URL for this blog post, which ishttp://suitcaseentrepreneur.com/10DBC-Day-2]”