“Care about what others think and you will always be their prisoner.” ~Lao Tzu
I used to think that caring about another person meant that I had to care about what they thought of me, but I’ve learned over time that I can actually care about another person better when I am not caught up in trying to edit who I am to manipulate their opinion of me. Setting them free to think whatever they think sets me free to be true to who I actually am.
“You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life?” ~Rumi
We make ourselves small in so many ways to fit in, to avoid risk, to appease others, but we were made to soar. What parts of yourself have you crippled or hidden to keep yourself small? How might you re-open those wings to be all of who you are?
“It’s hard to know whether to laugh or to cry at the human predicament. Here we are with so much wisdom and tenderness, and—without even knowing it—we cover it over to protect ourselves from insecurity. Although we have the potential to experience the freedom of a butterfly, we mysteriously prefer the small and fearful cocoon of ego.” ~Pema Chödrön
How often fear tempts us into being a smaller version of ourselves as we seek to protect ourselves, and yet what amazing freedom lies beyond that cocoon of ego when we are able to face fear without hiding away our deeper wisdom and tenderness.
“Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you.” ~Jean Paul Sartre
We don’t always have a choice about the things that happen to us in this life, but we can choose what we do with them. Freedom lies in making those choices consciously and intentionally.
Where do you have freedom to choose today?
“The habit of being happy enables one to be freed, or largely freed, from the dominance of outward conditions.” ~Robert Louis Stevenson
Our habits define us, so when we develop the habit of being happy, outward conditions have less power over our experience since we default to our habit. There is tremendous freedom in that!
To what degree do you have a habit of being happy? How could you strengthen that habit?