I've been thinking about it a lot lately, primarily because I've been going through some massive changes in my personal and professional life, and much of it revolves around my sense of personal freedom and my right to chose for myself what the best course of action is. It really boils down to a simple, yet complex subject: Free Will.
Thirteen years ago, July 1, 2000, almost to the date today, I bought my first house. It was a cute little townhouse style condo, surrounded by towering pines and redwood trees, and wonderful kind neighbors. I had just come through a painful divorce, and was just starting my record company, Gearhead Records, and it seemed the beginning of a great new life. Everything good was opening up before me and I felt strong and powerful and so ready to experience a state of stability and creativity.
Unfortunately, that brief period of calm and excitement gave way to a turbulent painful time that would not end until yesterday, July 3 2013, when I signed the papers selling my house.
It has been a mixed period of relief, sadness, and introspection as I reviewed the last thirteen years in my mind, taking a slow final walk through my little house, trying to make sense of the sometimes incredibly painful lessons and experiences I'd endured since first claiming ownership all those years ago: the meteoric success of my record company with the record release by a band called The Hives; the expansion of my business into a full service line of clothing and accessories; the extensive music catalog created, leading to almost eighty titles; the bitter breakup and dissolution of my business partnership; the opening of my retail store and the rebuilding of my business; meeting my current romantic partner; the terrifying downward spiral of financial ruin and eventual personal bankruptcy; the subsequent years of healing and clearing and reorganizing, and now finally, saying goodbye to the last episode in the story, selling my house and clearing out all remaining debts, while starting once again to rebuild my business.
Through all this, I've had the free will to chose the paths I've taken and the experiences and people I've brought into my life. Many times they were clearly the wrong choices, but at the time seemed like the best course of action based on the information I had at hand. I always had the freedom, the choice, to say "No Thank You" and to walk away, but I didn't, instead choosing to see the decision through to the end.
The one thing I never realized before recently was that I didn't have to make these decisions alone. I always had access to prayer and spiritual guidance, and I always could have requested help from the Universe to choose the course of action that would serve my highest good.
It just never occurred to me that I could ask for Divine Assistance in shaping the course of my life and my experiences, although often through the sense of intuition (or clairsentience as it is also called) I would get little "gut feelings" about what direction I should go. As humans, we have free will to choose our experiences and live our lives as we see fit, and our angels, spirit guides, or God himself cannot intervene without our permission unless it is life-threatening and not our time to cross over.
But we ALWAYS have the right to ask for help, and must do so to open the door for Divine Assistance to guide us towards the best possible outcome. However, once we get that guidance, we have the choice, and the freedom, to say yes or no, and take action as we see fit. But before we get help, we must ask for it.
Holy moly, if I knew then what I know now, my life would have taken an entirely different trajectory, but I must have needed to learn certain lessons, which is why only now, after going through so much pain, I'm ready to open the door on my next series of choices with a lot more knowledge and certainty in my tool kit!
I know for instance that I make very rash decisions, and that knowing this about myself, before I choose what my next step is, I must step back, get quiet and go within, seeking guidance from God or The Universe or whatever you want to call "The All" energy that surrounds all living creatures. I have learned to wait until I know all my ego is removed from the decision-making process, and that I am taking the next course of action based on the clear knowledge that it will serve the highest good.
It's easier said than done, I know, trust me! I struggle with this every day. But the lessons these last thirteen years have taught me are that I'm not patient, and I don't ever learn things the easy way, and that often I'm functioning from the reactive state of a petulant child, rather than the proactive state of wisdom and knowledge. I have the freedom to choose to be proactive instead of reactive, weighing the pros and cons and possible ramifications from my decisions before I make them.
Martina McBride sings a song called Independence Day that has always resonated very strongly with me, because the lyrics dance around the pain of domestic violence, which I myself have experienced, and the call to personal freedom, free will and choices, which I'm constantly faced with:
Let Freedom Ring Let The White Dove Sing
Let The Whole World Know That Today Is A Day Of Reckoning
Let The Weak Be Strong Let The Right Be Wrong
Roll The Stone Away Let The Guilty Pay It's Independence Day
On this day of Independence, I choose to celebrate my right to choose the best course of action for myself, using prayer, meditation and accessing Divine Guidance and my higher self to take the best path, knowing if I move forward in this way, ultimately, it will benefit all I come in contact with. Isn't that what freedom is?