Sometimes you have to revisit the choices you have made to see if they were really right decisions. Maybe at the time they seemed what was best, but circumstances change, or you yourself change, and you find that earlier choices are actually restraining you from being who you are. When you find you are restrained and hold back, particularly in being who you are, you need to be bold in reconsidering and perhaps changing your ways.
This is what I have been doing in some areas in my life in the past months.
There are two choices that I reconsidered that stand out.
One is to leave the church I have been part of for over 20 years. My choice is wholly my own and is not influenced so much by the church as it is by my development and growth. It’s not based on certain negative aspects of the church, as you can find fault anywhere where people are involved. No. It is my desire to be free, which I can liken to a butterfly coming out of its cocoon. Does it resent the place it is coming from? No, thanks to that process inside the cocoon, the butterfly has become who he is. Does he therefore stay there? No, it takes off in the air to enjoy his life as he is meant to do. He is free to go and fly wherever his wings will bring him.
The second decision I made is certainly bringing freedom. Nearly two years ago I bought a two-year online college degree stress-counseling. The main reason for doing so was to get closer to my goal of studying for a master’s degree in USA. Since I had only three college years which means no Bachelor’s degree, this course was to remedy that. Once finished I should be able to apply and not get stuck in the process as before.
BUT. Once I received the course material I wasn’t too thrilled about it. In fact, the way it was set up didn’t appeal to me.at.all. On top of that the assignments were going against my grain. I tried to get going. And tried again. But I could not move past it. It just was not happening. But I needed that course! So I kept beating myself up, trying to force myself to not only start but also to continue. Then I thought: “Oh well, I need the time pressure in order to get and keep going.” But it just did not happen.
Some time ago while talking with someone I realised that even IF I got going it wouldn’t bring me any satisfaction, it would be an eternal struggle instead. The question arose: “Is it worth it?” And we concluded: “Heck, no!” It took me some time to be bold enough to take the step to end all discussions in my head, but later that night I went out to the underground waste bin around the corner, reverently put my course material inside, kept a minute silence….. and dumped it!
I did not feel instant freedom. It was more like: “My goodness, WHAT have I DONE?!” But at the same time I noticed a slow release deep down inside. I realised how much room this darn course had taken up in my head. Whatever I was doing, there was the eternal push – you actually should be doing course work right now – inside. Slowly it dawns on me that I am free of that push, free to do whatever I like, free to not think about it. Free to fly whichever way I want!
In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved.