An Arab chief tells a story of a spy who was captured and then sentenced to death by a general in the Persian army. This general had the strange custom of giving condemned criminals a choice between the firing squad and the big, black door. As the moment for execution drew near, the spy was brought to the Persian general, who asked the question, “What will it be: the firing squad or the big, black door?”
The spy hesitated for a long time. It was a difficult decision. He chose the firing squad.
Moments later shots rang out confirming his execution. The general turned to his aide and said, “They always prefer the known way to the unknown. It is characteristic of people to be afraid of the undefined. Yet, we gave him a choice.”
The aide said, “What lies beyond the big door?”`
“Freedom,” replied the general. “I’ve known only a few brave enough to take it.”
(Don McCullough, “Reasons to Fear Easter”)
The dictionary tells us freedom is the capacity to exercise choice or free will. Freedom is the power to live as you will.
Choosing is the most important activity in your life. When we learn to make clear choices easily and confidently, we begin to take charge of our lives. Every choice is like facing a crossroad ~ which road shall I take? Every decision is a choice. And every time you make a choice you set in motion the Perfect Power of the universe to cause your choice to become manifest in your life experience. Freedom is established thought by thought!
Every day we make choices. Some seem simple, some seem complex. Yet we constantly make choices. What will I eat for breakfast? What will I wear today? What will I say to this person? How will I react to this situation?
Some choices we make without even thinking about it, and sometimes we are simply remaking a choice we made a long time ago. Perhaps we have chosen a certain diet, a religion, a political party, a job, which city to live in… Some of these choices we are happy with, and others we continue simply because we do not take the time to reevaluate our beliefs and needs. We may simply be on automatic pilot, letting things go along as they may.
Through your power to choose what kind of thoughts you will think, you can think in ways that will gradually convert the prison bars of habit into a field of freedom and freshness in mind and body.
When we are striving to live an empowered life, our every choice is important. Even the color of the clothes we wear for the day can affect us and the people around us. Certainly the attitude with which we choose to face the day and the people we spend time with have an effect. Every choice we make makes a difference — sometimes a good one and sometimes one that leaves a lot to be desired.
When we face ourselves in the mirror of our Personal Truth, we may see false beliefs and anxieties that we have allowed to gain a foothold in our consciousness. But if the mirror of our Truth reveals something which needs to be banished, it also reveals to us the image of our perfect self which is waiting to find expression in the joy of our freedom .
Life itself is a choice. In 2006, there were over 33,000 suicides in the USA. Every single day in the USA, an average of 91 people committed suicide. Every day! Fifteen of those people who commit suicide are between 15 and 24 years of age. Every year there are over 800,000 attempts at suicide! Although each is exercising choice, the idea of potential freedom seems to evade the minds of these people as they view the options available to them. Life is a choice.
The choice of life is one we make every day whether we realize it or not. But that choice is not always as dramatic as whether or not to hold a gun to one’s head, or end it all “right here and now”. The choice of life also applies to the things we ingest (whether food, tobacco, drugs, polluted air, toxins, etc.). The choice of life also includes how we treat the planet we live on.
Freedom looks at what we HAVE ~ not at what we do not yet have or what we appear to have lost.
The freedom to be, to be all that the Universal Power created you to be, is yours, not someday but now. Do not put off your freedom by thinking that you can be free only if some condition changes, or if some person changes, or by thinking that you cannot be free till the children are grown or the bills are paid.
Every action we take either supports life, or not. When we choose to stay in a job that depresses us and not do anything about it, we are not choosing life. When we choose to let the people around us hurt the people we love, we are not choosing life. When we choose to let politicians make decisions that go against the greater good for all, we are not choosing life. When we see violence all around us, in schools, in neighborhoods, on TV, in video games, and only shake our heads in despair, we are not choosing life.
We are the only ones who can make a difference — by each and every choice we make. Whether that choice involves refusing to buy violent toys for your child, or going to town meetings to make your choices heard, or going to vote — all these are ways we make a difference. All of these exhibit how we choose freedom.
It is easy for us to complain. We do it all the time. But, to live as an empowered being, we must take action. Complaining and then complaining some more does not change the world.
To change the world we live in (whether your own house or the planet), we must make choices that support our beliefs and our vision. If we sit back and only complain at how terrible things have gotten, then we are responsible for the situation. This is a harsh comment, but a true one nevertheless.
We need to take a look at all our choices and make sure they support the greater good — that they support peace, both internally and externally, both individually and world-wide.