08.03.12 Truth & Wisdom

What It Means to Be Free

What It Means to Be Free

BY Jennifer Griffin

How you define freedom says something about you! The state of being “free” can be visualized through amazing photos, books and conversations, as well as walking away from negativity, being free from external controls or simply laughing off the day. As I started writing and thinking about what freedom meant to me, I discovered I had a plethora of thoughts I didn’t realize I had.

As my ideas were being penned, I looked at the context of the words with a little deeper mindset and I came up with a personal theory. My theory is that every interpretation we have of freedom is a reflection of how we are feeling restricted in some part of our life. It’s a mirror image of something inside. If we go a little further, that restriction is usually something we are putting on ourselves.

Whether we know it or not, the people we surround ourselves with inspire us to do better and explore freedom or they take us away from it, because of their own fears. Therefore, we have a choice in our own freedom and happiness! That being said, I found myself defining freedom through images and scenarios rather than words. I saw smiles, laughter, oceans, awesome books and sand in my shoes. So, to define what it means to me, I’m giving you my image list and hope you walk away with a feeling rather than a contextual definition.

Okay, here we go! My vision(s) for freedom…

1) Being E L James! Can you imagine actually writing the words to the Fifty Shades trilogy? Her mind must have been on overdrive with liberation. I think she just rewrote our First Amendment, Freedom of Speech.
2) A wonderful evening at a dinner party sans the invite to SPANX.
3) Eating real ice cream – not gelato or yogurt, but real ice cream in any flavor – and not gaining weight.
4) To be a vegetarian without the non-vegetarian people in the world explaining the benefits of meat.
5) Having the freedom to work with the money you have vs. the money you are always pursuing.
6) Listening to the words to ‘Empire State of Mind’ and knowing there’s nothing you can’t do. (Thank you, Alicia Keys + Jay-Z.)
7) Singing as loud and off key as you want to, just because you can.

8) To make mistakes without it being on FB, Twitter, Instagram or repeated at every family gathering.
9) Freedom of making your own choices.
10) Breaking away from stereotypes and doing YOU.
11) Late night talks with girlfriends.
12) Dating or being marreed to your best friend.
13) Coming up with a thought or idea without someone telling you “there’s an app for that”.

So what do you think my list says about me? Make your list and think of how it relates to your life. You might just learn more about yourself than you realize. By the way, to really be free,  just do YOU –  everyone else is taken. Don’t forget to enjoy the ride.

Jennifer Griffin lives in Dallas and is the Founder of The PLAY Foundation, a guest columnist at The Dallas Morning News, Public Speaker and life enthusiast who would love to battle it out with George Clooney on practical jokes. She loves finding new adventures in the kitchen and has several videos to help others with challenges on her YouTube channel. Oh and, she has a new spin on life since losing her hands and part of her legs to sepsis in 2007. Watch out, she will spark in your soul. You can follow her on Twitter @jgchallenge.

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