07/07/2011 02:21 pm ET | Updated Sep 06, 2011

Paving a Path to Your Personal Liberation

Your spirit's comfort zone is the infinite and eternal. Anything else is a path to anxiety and fear.
-- Marianne Williamson

This week, we gathered in town squares across the country to celebrate our nation's birthday. We gathered in churches and synagogues, marched in parades and stood on curbs waving flags. We went to county fairs, rode amusement rides, ate cotton candy and devoured corn on the cob. We listened to country bands and bluegrass music. We fired up our BBQs and invited friends over to share the typical 4th of July menu of hot dogs, hamburgers and potato salad, as we watched fireworks displays light up the night sky. This week, in our quintessentially American ways, we celebrated our heritage of freedom and independence.

Yet within each human being, whether American or South African, there is another kind of freedom waiting to be declared. No one can give it to you, but it is yours for the claiming. It costs nothing, but will most likely require you to give up everything you've ever held on to in the name of safety and security.

Personal Liberation Is An Inside Job

The freedom of which I speak is the freedom every human ultimately seeks. No matter how much or how little money or education we have, no matter who or how much we know, or how many titles or possessions we accumulate, our task is the same. We're here to discover and align with our soul's agenda, to live out the life we came to live, as the person we came to be. We're here to grow beyond our narrow definitions of who we think we are and claim our personal liberation.

Sounds simple enough, doesn't it? Yet here is where the human journey gets interesting. Because if you take a look around, you'll notice that in spite of all we've achieved throughout human history, humanity still struggles with the same issues our earliest ancestors faced. Today, our physical survival is threatened, not by meteors crashing into earth causing mass extinction, but by the mass extinction human activity has helped bring about and caused to accelerate. Our earliest ancestors faced fierce predators that threatened their survival. Today, the fiercest predators we confront are those we see in the mirror.

Who must we think ourselves to be?

We continue to inflict pain on ourselves and each other. We shrivel and shrink, complain and whine, project our best and worst qualities outward and think we're seeing the truth. We hold grudges, blame and judge and live in fear of what others think, certain they judge us as we judge them.

We hold ourselves captive to our greatest fears, convinced we are as small, powerless and insignificant as we believe ourselves to be. And yet, even as we are our own jailors, so are we also our own liberators. The key to the door that opens to freedom is concealed in the heart of the one held captive. The journey to find the key, pick it up, open the lock and walk through the door can be measured in centimeters, but can take a lifetime to navigate.

This is the whole game for human beings. Are you up for that journey? For at the end of the day, when our last breath is taken, we will all sit face to face with our soul and have a little "Truth Ring" chat, for it alone knows whether or not we were true to its mission.

So the question arises, who did you come here to be? I'm not talking about a job description or role identification. I'm speaking of the quintessential qualities you came to embody and express, as the unique human being you are. Given that there is no other you, what will be missing in the entire human experience unless you bring it? If humanity is a 7 billion faceted diamond, what is your individual facet about?

You are a part of this diamond, come as we all have come, to illuminate the world with the brilliance of who you are. As the light shines through you, (to the degree that you allow it), your gifts are offered into the glorious cauldron of creation. Are you free to be who you came here to be? Free to offer up, in gratitude, the gifts you came to contribute?

If you were having that little soul chat right now, what would your answer be? Truth ring! (Remember the story I related last time of a friend who found a beautiful ring in a shop in Nepal and the shopkeeper explained that it was a "Truth Ring". If anyone swears that something is the truth by the Truth Ring and it turns out they lied, they're voluntarily taking on bad karma.)

What's between you and your personal liberation? What's between you and freedom to be who you are? All of the below are based on erroneous thinking and are ego strategies for survival. Let's take a look and see some of the more common barriers to freedom and their remedies.

Barrier #1:

The fear of what others think- This one is deadly. Inside of this constraint, we hold ourselves hostage to what we think others think of us, how we look, how we dress, what we say, what we do. We think and fear the worst about ourselves and find evidence outside to support these beliefs.

Take Your Power Back Remedy:

Get a grip! It's all made up! Given that we don't know what others actually think, we unconsciously project our self-judgments and opinions outward and attribute our own thoughts and fears onto others. You can take back your power by owning your projections as your own. The truth is, most people don't think about you as much as you might imagine. Really! Everyone is too busy worrying about what others think of themfor you to be too concerned about what they think of you. It's all an ego game, designed to maintain the illusion that it's (the ego) keeping us safe. A dead end game. Give it up.

Barrier #2:

The need to be right and avoid being wrong. To an insecure ego, being right is equivalent to survival, being wrong is equivalent to death. If one is driven by insecurity, being wrong brings humiliation and shame, two of the lowest vibrating emotions on the totem pole (David Hawkins, Power Vs. Force). But the price for needing to be right has a heavy price tag, for there is no room for error and therefore no room for learning. Also no room for freedom. Who has to be wrong in order for you to feel good about yourself?

Take Your Power Back Remedy:
The right/wrong game is a zero sum game where nobody wins and everyone loses. Here's a different idea: make it your goal to have everyone win, including yourself. Who would you need to be to pull that one off? Within every conflict, there is a solution where all needs are met. To get there, you need to get off your position that it's "your way or the highway" and be willing to get down at ground zero, where new possibilities can be discovered. The Everyone Wins game is a much bigger and more satisfying game to play. Don't knock it if you haven't tried it.

Barrier #3:

The need to be in control. Last week's post evoked a lively discussion about this topic. Please refer to reader Lawson Meadow's and others' comments here.

Take Your Power Back Remedy:

In truth, most of what happens in life is beyond our control. What we do with what happens however, is entirely up to us, thus we shape our own reality by the choices we make in response to life. Life happens and we choose. That's it! Take charge of your responses and let go of the illusion that you can part the Red Sea. That was a fairy tale to begin with. BUT.... Can we shape how events occur with our intention? Now that's a subject for a future post. Stay tuned.

Barrier #4:
The need to be safe. The ego requires certainty and predictability. This is its definition of safety. That which is unknown and unfamiliar threatens the ego's grip on its version of reality. This, of course, is a trap, which eventually becomes a prison. LIfe has no guarantees of safety on any level. By clinging to this notion, we hold ourselves hostage to a false idea of who we are, convinced not of our possibilities, but of our limitations.

Take Back Your Power Remedy:

When you partook of this journey to become human, your soul gave up the need to be safe in order to avail itself of the learning required to fulfill its mission. Above all the soul seeks learning, and by hook or by crook, will bring to our doorstep whatever serves its purpose. Life is an adventure into the unknown. There is no way out except through. Put on your boots and start hiking! The true safety the soul seeks is contained in the Marianne Williamson quote at the top of this post and below:

Your spirit's comfort zone is the infinite and eternal. Anything else is a path to anxiety and fear.

This is only a partial glimpse into the question of liberating ourselves from the tyranny of self-imposed limitations. What barriers do you still struggle with and what remedies do you see?

I welcome your thoughts, insights and commentary in the space below. And while you're at it, come pay a visit to my personal blog and website at Rx For the Soul.

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Thanks for being here. I treasure our connection.

Blessings on the path.