How was last week? Did you all enjoy the 4th of July? The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays. It feels like summer has officially began with the warm weather, there are a ton of BBQs going on, folks drinking beer, watching or lighting off fireworks, spending time on the water, and everyone seems to be genuinely cheerful. It’s another exciting holiday spent with family and friends, celebrating the freedom of our country.
My subject today is that: freedom. This is not the kind of red, white, and blue, George Washington, ‘merica type freedom you may be thinking of. I want to talk about mental freedom.
My definition of mental freedom is an inner feeling of contentment and peace.
I asked myself the question, ‘Am I mentally free?’ a few days ago after reading a She Reads Truth passage on “The Law of Liberty.” If you don’t know what She Reads Truth is, definitely check out the website and phone app. It is an excellent website that brings the bible to real life, through the encouraging words of many female authors. You can purchase reading plans or read many of the free plans offered. There is even a He Reads Truth for all of you fellow guys that follow along with my blog!
Anyways, in the passage of “The Law of Liberty” the author states, “When we stop desiring to live our lives like others, we get to live our own.” There is so much truth in that statement. When living my life like others, I am comparing and contrasting my life to their’s. We ALL do this, whether we want to admit it or not.
We try to keep up with the Jones’. New technology, new cars, fashion, our extracurriculars, how fit we are, our job, the food we eat, the list goes on and on. I compare and contrast my life with others in many aspects. This is a dangerous road to walk.
My biggest compare and contrast moment has most recently been with my job. Since graduating college, I have not found a long-term career that I truly enjoy. I have had many jobs that come close to what I enjoy doing, but none have been the perfect fit. Currently, I am serving at a brewery in Seattle. I do not have the desire to be a server for the rest of my life. Discussing with others what my job is can at times feel embarrassing. This especially happens when they know (or I think they know) that your sister is a nurse and your brother is in the Army. My brother and sister are especially good at their given careers and have made big career decisions, happy where they are at. It is difficult to not wish that I had made a different decision in college or pursued an entirely different field.
I was listening to a Way Family Podcast the other day and Zach Way commented, “Don’t find your identity in your job.” There it was…the statement I needed to hear for so long. I always knew it, but it helped to hear it. I wrote it down on a little slip of paper that stays in my car staring at me every day on my drive to work. After reading the She Reads Truth passage, I realized how I need to stay patient. Comparing and contrasting my life to others is not getting me anywhere. I will continue pursuing a career that I am passionate about and keep with the job that I currently hold for the time being, making sure I make the most of my time in the establishment.
“The difference between bondage and freedom is a life without boundaries or borders to rule.” (She Reads Truth) We are free when we let go of worrying about what others think of us…each of us are created uniquely, each with various talents and passions. I am not a nurse, nor will I ever be. I know my strengths are in customer service and my passion of the outdoor industry.
As we are able to live our own life, we stop worrying about the world and what they have to say, and focus on what we are called to. We can begin to create boundaries for ourselves based on how we feel and what makes us click:
- What we eat: I have been actively trying to moderate what I eat based solely on the fact that the better I eat, the better I feel. I know what works for my body, gives me energy, and what makes me tired and sick.
- Exercise: I know that I need to workout and stay active. I know what gives my body energy, the type of workouts my body enjoys most, and that I sleep better when I have been active.
- Days of rest: I need one day off a week. Many like two days off or no days off. I work best with at least one day off to catch up…sleep, laundry, grocery shopping, and my tv shows. Or going for a hike or bike ride.
- Hobbies: When we live in freedom, we find hobbies that are important to us. For example, my prior roommate in Bozeman just began road biking regularly in her new home in California. I have never been interested in road riding. I would rather run somewhere than hop on my road bike and bike miles and miles. But that is her hobby and new found joy! I like to run, mountain bike, blog, and cook. It is okay to have different passions than those around you. But do not be afraid to try something new!
- Maturing: As we get older and choose to not worry and live a life of freedom, we grow. When I stop worrying, I realize what makes me click. I understand the adjustments that I need to make. I know that my faith has grown since taking time in the mornings to have a quiet time. I have made sure that my quiet time is not just an item on my checklist, but something that has become as natural as making a cup of coffee in the morning.
I have come to understand that I cannot expect instant gratification. Patience is key. I have learned this when sitting in traffic, awaiting responses on job applications, beginning a new job, creating new friendships, waiting for my Amazon Prime orders to arrive, the list goes on and on and on.
Are you mentally free?
Thanks for keeping up with me and humoring my thoughts. I am so excited to hear from those that have read my posts and appreciate the encouragement!
I just began a week of no caffeine. I am dying. Yesterday was day 1 and it was SO hard. I felt groggy all day long (and ended up taking a 30 minute nap midday), my head hurt until about 6pm, and I sat in my pajamas until about 5pm. I read a couple of blog posts on being caffeine free and each post said the same thing about day 1. It is hard…feels impossible…you’re groggy….you’re grumpy…but it is worth it. I went to bed around 10pm and slept the ENTIRE night. I woke up this morning feeling energized and ready to move.
I am doing the “no caffeine” because I drink far too much coffee. I either get super shaky or the coffee ends up not kicking in at all. I knew that it was time to adjust my coffee addiction and wean myself off of the caffeine. If anyone has advice, please let me know. Sarah (old roommate Sarah!) told me to try matcha. I’m stoked to try that out next week.
My newest blog find is “Lee From America” – a recipe developer, fitness lover, holistic lifestyle, and balancing hormones
The phone app “Think Dirty” – this app is so good for finding clean, toxin free products. You use your phone to scan the barcode on the back of shampoo, body wash, household cleaners, makeup, etc. to see how dirty it is on a scale of 0-10. I have thrown out many dirty items and restocked my side of the bathroom with clean items.
Alright, enjoy the remainder of your week!