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How Would You Define True Freedom?

Written by: Michael Taylor, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

On July 4th 1776, America declared it’s independence from Great Britain by creating and signing the Declaration of Independence and officially becoming the United States of America. Included in this declaration is a Universal truth which laid the foundation on which this country was built.


“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.

11 years later, the Constitution of the United States was written which established America’s national government and fundamental laws, and guaranteed certain basic rights for its citizens.

It began with this very powerful preamble:


“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

4 years later, the founding fathers recognized the constitution could be improved and they put together some amendments they believed would make the constitution even better. The first amendment to the constitution states:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

The United States Constitution is the world's longest surviving written charter of government and it is (in my opinion), what makes this country great despite it’s obvious challenges.


As I celebrated the 4th of July this year, I felt a deep sense of gratitude for living in America and I spent a lot of time thinking about the word freedom. As I reflected on freedom in the context of this great country, I realized just how precious freedom really is. By breaking away from Great Britain and establishing the United States, this country built a democracy and system which allows every American the freedom to pursue the American dream. We have the right to say what we want to say, live where we choose to live, work where we choose to work, and worship our Creator however we choose to.


But is this really freedom? What does it really mean to be free?


As mentioned, for me, living in America in and of itself is freedom. As I watch the horrific war in the Ukraine right now, my heart goes out to the people of that country who are having their freedoms taken away by Russia. As I think about people in countries like North Korea who are ruled by dictators, I can only imagine what it feels like to not have the freedoms I experience on a day-to-day basis. I am eternally grateful for the freedom I experience living in America.


As I reflect on the Universal truth written into our declaration: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” I’d like to share some ideas on what I believe true freedom is really all about.


To fully embrace freedom, it’s important to embrace the idea that we are all created equal and we all have access to a loving creator. Freedom means we get to choose how we view and what we believe that the creator is. Each religion offers us an opportunity to develop an intimacy and connection to this creator, and it is our responsibility to find our “truth” that is right for us. I’m reminded of this quote that speaks directly to this point: “there are many paths to God, and just because someone is on a different path than you, it doesn’t mean they are the ones who are lost.” Freedom comes from finding your own path and giving others the freedom to find their own.


Once we make our connection to the Creator, we then have the freedom to pursue happiness and I believe this is what true freedom is. Happiness is freedom, and freedom is happiness.


Happiness and freedom come from knowing who you truly are and why you are here. This can only be accomplished by your willingness to become self-introspective and look within your own heart and mind to uncover any unconscious negative beliefs and assumptions you have about yourself and the world around you. Some unconscious negative beliefs some people have that keep them from experiencing freedom are, they aren’t good enough, or they aren’t worthy. If you hold any of these beliefs I can assure you, that you will never be free.


If you truly want to be free, you will have to change these beliefs and recognize that you are good enough and worthy of love and capable of doing remarkable things. When you learn to accept this, then you will have true freedom. Self-love and acceptance give you freedom from needing other people’s approval, freedom from fear of failure, freedom from feeling not good enough, freedom to be loved and accepted, freedom to speak your truth, and freedom to make a positive difference in the world.


This is true freedom, being happy with yourself and being willing to speak your truth to help make the world a better place.


So ask yourself, are you truly free?


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Michael Taylor, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Coach Michael Taylor is an irrepressible optimist with a passion for the impossible. He is president and CEO of Creation Publishing Group and is the author of 10 books designed to empower men and women to live extraordinary lives. He is the host of 3 podcasts, (A New Conversation With Men, Don't Believe The Hype, and Shatter The Stereotypes) and host 3 television channels on the Roku network.


He was featured in the bestselling book Motivational Speakers America with legendary speakers Les Brown and Brian Tracy. He has won numerous awards for his dynamic speaking style and says being on stage speaking, lights him up and ignites his soul.


When he isn't speaking or writing books, you'll find him hanging out with the love of his life Bedra, who he has been blissfully married for 19 years. His hobbies include going to the movies, listening to old school 70's and 80's soul music, and reading Calvin & Hobbs comics.

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