Chapter Nine – Freedom
An absolute demand of the human spirit; freedom from adaptations based on fear that limit us; freedom to expand so we can receive and give new responses which allow us to create new life.
Culturally we usually hear freedom used associated with war. We justify fighting to maintain or gain freedom. I offer you a transformed view of freedom here, a spiritual view. I address freedom as freedom from adaptations based on fear that cause us to only limit ourselves and accuse others. I address freedom as freedom to expand so we can receive from within and then give new responses which create new life. This is achieved by each of us as part of our natural maturing process when we balance the Feminine and Masculine Principles within. The basic test of freedom is perhaps less in what we are free to do than in what we are free TO BE and therefore not do.
Freedom is the absolute demand of the human spirit. The opposite of freedom is slavery to fear. We are slave to any fear pattern that keeps us stuck in contraction where we blame others in an attempt to get them to change the situation to relieve our fear. To set ourselves free, we allow our problems to be solved from within. We all have an inner urge to make spiritual progress in life, to feel safe, and to be happy. The commercial world takes advantage of this inner drive for progress, safety, and happiness to sell us their products. We are misguided to respond to this urge only by acquiring more things, degrees, titles, status, “wins,” etc. Perhaps nothing would be so pleasing to us as to be free to give expansive responses when faced with any fear. This always requires that we interrupt the automatic fear reaction and take time to think before responding.
Freedom is freedom to feel a fear and act in ways other than our automatic defenses (fight/flight). Every problem calls us to expand our thinking and possibilities. Spiritual freedom allows us to give an expansive response even if scared. Our survival mechanism (fight/flight) is a contraction, a default setting. As a child, it sends out an alarm to call for protection from a parent. As an adult, in order to respond with courage, our emotional nature has to have some sense that our own thinking part is there for it, sees what it is registering as a danger, and will take some direct protective action. That may be no more than to say to our Inner Child, “I see what is going on, I will handle it, and you are safe right now.”
I had taken a granddaughter on a trip to Utah to visit Best Friends Animal Sanctuary among other things. We were to fly from St. George to Salt Lake City. After a very early cab drive to the airport we were informed that they decided not to have the first flight that day and that we would be on the second and would have plenty of time to make connections upon arriving in Salt Lake. We arrived with twenty minutes to find our gate. I saw no sign directing us. I asked personnel and got no answer. A man being frisked in security overheard me asking an officer and told me where our Northwest gate was, the very last one down the long corridor.
When I went to check in there I was told that we were on a Delta flight and directed me there. We went to the Delta desk and were told we were on a Northwest flight. I told the woman we had just been sent to them from Northwest. She looked up our ticket and said we were booked for an airline that had gone out of business months before. I went back to Northwest, as it was my belief that I had paid Northwest, and insisted that we be put on the flight sitting at the gate going where we were going. It turned out that that plane had been sitting there for four hours waiting to leave. They had had an emergency on the way in and realized that they did not have the required number of working oxygen tanks and were waiting for some to arrive. The man told me the plane may not go at all. Once again I insisted that we be allowed to board. We were no sooner in our seats than the plane took off. This may have been due to my asserting myself in this situation that scared me, or then again, it may have been a miracle set up by my travel angel!
Freedom is freedom from doubt. Any time we venture beyond our ego or cultural programming, we will hear the voice of doubt from within. While we are young, this can be helpful as it serves as a boundary to keep us safe. It is a problem when carried out beyond its time of usefulness. As an adult it becomes part of our programming to constrict. It is far more useful to take information we have at the head level down to the emotional level to allow us to go forward in life. We literally have to inform our gut of what our head knows. I consider my gut to be my Inner Child and my head to be my Nurturing Parent or the Holy Spirit voice. The Inner Child is the one that releases energy and it will do so when it has enough information to feel safe to break through limiting boundaries.
Freedom is freedom to be guided by a voice that allows for virtuous expression and helpful results. This means freedom to not allow fear to guide our ways harmfully. Discernment related to which voice we listen to in mind makes the difference. With this freedom, someone can be unloving to us and we can choose to respond in a way that is helpful rather than hurtful. The choice to live in our higher nature means that the energy of love works through us and is extended to others regardless of their energy.
When I decided to face my “authority problem” in my late twenties, I took a job checking books in and out at a library. I figured that I would be free this way to study myself and not be concerned about someone being harmed in any way should I shift my focus like this as a nurse. Up until this time if someone was critical or nasty to me I assumed that there was something wrong with me. The voice and behavior fit with my mother’s in my mind. Then a woman came to check out some books and was nasty. I caught myself. I heard from a voice within that told me I did nothing to deserve her attitude toward me. It was only a minute until I overheard her speaking quietly with the woman in charge of the check out desk. She said she was on her way to the hospital to have a breast removed. Ahhh, I said to myself. From now on when someone is out of sorts with me, I will concern myself with what might be hurting them instead of focusing on their hurting me.
Freedom is freedom to give a creative response to any problem before us. Fear thoughts set our survival mechanism (fight/flight) into motion. Neither solution offers a new way of being which could solve the problem before us. Allowing ourselves to make the inner connection allows love to flow through us. In order to navigate through the transformation that is taking place for humanity at this time, we must learn to handle fear, and that is our fear of dying that we experience when things call for us to make a complete shift in how we have always thought about and done things. Fear is restrictive and contractive of energy. Love is allowing and expansive.
There came a time when my husband had Alzheimer’s that I believed that he might kill me and then simply say, “Nancy is dead. I didn’t do it.” He had been breaking all kinds of things and then saying he didn’t do it. I had been taking him for diagnostic work at a reputable hospital for months and had no diagnosis or treatment as yet. One last specialist told me to get him admitted through an emergency room. I went to the office of the main physician in charge of his case and told the nurse that I was taking him to the emergency room. I stopped by the psychologist’s office and told him in person. He told me there was no way that they would admit him. I said I was going to take him, period. When he realized that I would not back down, he cooperated and arranged for us to see the admissions person at a psychiatric hospital.
My husband worked at the hospital where he was being tested and knew these doctors. For months I had allowed him to have a say in the process. I decided to take charge and take responsibility and outcome away from both him and the doctors. I took him to the psychiatric hospital where he was admitted and observed for two weeks. He was then sent to an assisted living facility for his own safety as well as mine. In the process, I took his rights away, and widowed myself for a second time. It didn’t feel loving yet it was the most loving thing I could have done both for him and for myself.
Freedom is freedom to see our own inner processes and change them. When in fear, our automatic way of handling this is to blame others for what we believe THEY are not doing right by us, and to manipulate others to try to get THEM to change to make ourselves feel better. This is all contraction and externally focused. Ultimately, when in fear, we register the lack of love’s presence and believe we will die. The problem is that we see the lack of love as coming from someone else rather than realizing that it has come from our own contracting with fear. When contracted, we are non-receptive to love either from inside or outside of ourselves. Since we automatically translate this into the fear of dying from lack of love, our blame of others is trying to get love from them to save our lives. Does it really make sense to use anger to attract love?
During the years when I led a spiritual community from my home, I dedicated this home space as safe for the growth of souls and I guarded that completely. This led to my separating ways with my mother. She came for a visit shortly after my first husband had died. I was driving in the car with her and my young daughter vividly described to my mother the death of her dad from Multiple Sclerosis. My mother listened attentively and then said, “Well, they say it’s inherited, you know.” I was aghast that she would make such a statement to my impressionable young daughter.
Then there was the visit of my adopted sons’ grandparents. The grandfather had recently had a minor stroke. Sitting with them and my mother in my living room, my mother asked him how he was. He said he had had a minor stroke and was doing okay. She responded, “Well, that’s the way it goes, first you have a minor stroke and then you’re dead.” The grandmother’s head fell forward as though she had literally been shot in the gut. I decided that I could not have that kind of soul killing energy in my home. I believe it was the hardest action I ever took in my life, to take my mother home. While I saw her a couple times in the many years that she lived after that, she never looked at me again.
Freedom is freedom from all the addictions we live with that are destroying humanity and Earth. Most human beings believe in love, goodness, happiness, and peace. We don’t understand the needed Spirit of Oneness required to be free to create those virtuous conditions for ourselves and the world. Freedom includes freedom to see that we are all one people and unity calls for us to cooperate for the good of all so we can fulfill our humanity.
I reached a turning point some years back when I no longer related to any kind of competitive game or sport. Where I square dance, they do a cake walk. It is a process in which people stand on and move around on playing cards while a leader picks cards from a deck and calls suits. Those standing on that suit are out. This process continues until one person is a winner and the rest are losers. This may seem innocuous enough. However every repeat of this win/lose scenario furthers this kind of thinking. I offered at one point to set the game up backwards so that everyone would win. That fell on deaf ears. Our culture believes in winners and losers and is not free to see that we all want to win and we need not set up our processes to assure that so many lose.
Freedom requires surrender of a fear and the whole pattern we carry out based on it. The fear of dying comes from two places and it is essential that we learn to discern the difference. The first is from feeling a lack of love, and to correct this we make an internal shift which is also known as forgiving. The other is that our ego programming. Our survival mechanism that knows nothing beyond itself will tell us that if we step outside of this programming and do something new and different that we won’t survive, we will die. Fears are activated when growth calls us to move forward or expand outward, and that is exactly what is affecting human beings on Earth at this time.
When going through hell keep going! We face our fear of dying and walk through it to a greater experience of life. We are souls and our souls are always speaking to us. Right now there is a possibility for massive death on the planet and God, or the Universe Itself, is calling us to create and support life in a massive way. We go through fear to do this. We go through hell to do this.
Freedom is freedom to receive Justice meaning to receive our Good rather than seeking justice as revenge against another.
I believe that the only reason I lived through my first marriage with all the hardship of my husband with Multiple Sclerosis, and the years after that, was because I stayed focused on where I was headed in my spiritual growth. I sought my own Justice, my own Good, through my growth. Obviously this was a forgiving process minute by minute. Rather than become completely depressed or bitter about the direct circumstances or the indirect circumstances from extended family and traumas to my children, I held a single focus on waking up. I have experienced my life as one miraculous journey because of this.
Freedom from blame is also freedom from sickness. Sickness lives in contraction. There is blame behind all sickness. (See Heal Your Body by Louise Hay) Sickness is a signal that we need to grow somehow. Stress creates an acid condition in the body. Autoimmune diseases and cancer grow in an acid body. Foods are contractive or expansive as well as acidic and basic. (See resources as The Acid Alkaline Food Guide by Susan Brown and Larry Trivieri, Jr., and Food and Healing by Annemarie Colbin.) Growing spiritually allows us to heal physical conditions, or create conditions in our body less likely to support sickness.
At the age of fifty, after nearly twenty years of growing spiritually, I took off the glasses I had worn since my teen years and did eye exercises. While I have since then gone back to wearing glasses for reading, twenty-one years later I still have no restrictions on my driver’s license for distant vision. I went off thyroid after activating my throat center with voice lessons and to this day test fine for thyroid. I am under no doctor’s care for any disease condition, and take no prescribed medications. I realized that I was gluten intolerant many years ago and that has been a true blessing to me in that I, of necessity had to read labels. In doing so, I also stopped eating almost everything made by the American food industry. Also, the more I have grown spiritually, the less sugar I eat and the more I eat organic foods.
Spiritual freedom is seeing no one as an enemy. The need to blame creates an enemy. As long as we choose to fear and blame, we will name someone as an enemy. “Us and them” is separating. “We” is uniting. See the chapter on inclusion.
Freedom allows us to be true to ourselves rather than show a façade to the world. What will we be free for? The next phase of human evolution will shift our focus of work from inner to outer. We will draw more deeply on our creativity and use it in ways that are in our true best interests; the freedom to follow our vision and find that which we truly seek.
After teaching personal growth classes in the continuing education department of a local university and many other places, I had realized that I was now teaching spiritual growth and wanted to grow with others. It was then that I built the classroom in my home. After about 18 years of teaching in the basement of my home, students coming to me by word of mouth, I decided to go back to teaching at a college. For me, it was like coming out of the closet as a spiritual person. I didn’t feel like I fit into culture at all by then. My first classes at the college were quite general and then one day a student said she had my book and asked why I wasn’t teaching in my area of expertise, A Course in Miracles. Good question. I then offered classes on virtues and A Course in Miracles and have been exceedingly pleased with how well these have been received. I now feel free to teach in the public as I live, which is what I truly seek, to take the spiritual into culture.
Freedom is freedom to speak with power and beauty. People who open their throat chakras cannot be controlled. The throat opens after the heart. Women may feel like they are going to die if they don’t express themselves, and also feel like they are going to die when they begin to express themselves. Socially acceptable fields of expression have been determined by the patriarchy, and for expressing with the throat, male culture has created work, sports, bars, clubs, and the military. The universe of the woman revolves around birthing, sensuality, timelessness, play, and creativity. Symptoms of throat chakra blockage are continual sore throats, neck locking and stiffness, ringing in the ears, breathing problems, and speech difficulties.
When my husband reached a point with Alzheimer’s that he had lost his ability to swallow, it was obvious that his death would be only days away. Administrators of the nursing home, so afraid that they would receive demerits from the state, insisted on following rules that to me were insane. I stayed present with my husband as much as I could, offering him comfort. Otherwise, they would take him in his dying state to the dining room and insisted that he have all his “normal” activities so that he would not believe something was wrong. The last three days my daughter joined me from out of state. She literally lay in bed with him nearly all of the time until he died. We were at odds with this nursing home with which I had had a very loving relationship. My daughter and I, with kind words and actions, insisted on our right to be with him in private and assist his soul to leave his body. She and I both experienced his dying as an awesome experience, a birthing. We went through labor together and the experience bonded us as women as never before.
Freedom is freedom to bless our own life and that of others - to enhance life with our interactions as opposed to draining others and being drained.
Freedom is freedom to allow others to be who they are. When we do this, they begin to change. Accepting another does not mean that we like or approve of what they are doing or how they are acting. It means that we have stopped judging them, projecting fear and anger at them, and have allowed love to flow through us to them in their difficulty. To shift ourselves to a higher place is called forgiving. Compassion extended to another heals.
After meeting my current companion and he accepted moving into my world with square dance, I asked to visit him at his home. I found that he spent much of his life watching sports on TV. Now, that presented a real challenge for me since I not only don’t watch sports on TV, I have a spirit of cooperation, not competition. I asked how I might enter his world. I decided that I could set up a table near him and work a jigsaw puzzle, something I really enjoy doing. This helped with his original shyness, or awkwardness, and it wasn’t long until we moved to the couch together and began having deeply meaningful conversations that continue today.
Freedom is freedom to welcome new ideas in mind in order to experience the surprise of miracles. We allow ourselves to feel the vulnerability as we open rather than defend and close ourselves in fear. We transcend our tendency to resist or run away when taken by surprise.
I remember the first time that I experienced what I call my car angel. I was driving through Pennsylvania on my way to the Augusta Heritage Festival in Elkins, West Virginia where I intended to study voice. This was before the days of texting! I had the words to an Italian aria on my steering wheel and I was repeating them in hope of being confident with them before arrival. All of a sudden I felt someone pull hard on my left arm and my car veered in that direction. Surprised, I looked up and found that I was about to miss a change of highway and was now headed the right way for my destination. I was pleased with that, of course. However, I had to cross lanes to make that correction. I think I asked out loud, “Do you look behind me before you pull my arm like that?” I didn’t hear any answer. I can tell you that this incident brought a new idea to my mind, a surprise, and a miracle. To this day I am aware of the presence of this car angel.
Freedom is freedom to see ourselves honestly, our habits and addictions, the ways we blame and manipulate to try to get from others. Virtuous responses require emotional honesty. Freedom requires forgiving all others that we have blamed. Forgiving is the shift of consciousness from external (blame of someone else) to internal (examining our own thoughts, feelings, and actions).
In my young married days, I lived quite a distance from my parents. One day they were to arrive for a rare visit. I was trying so hard to be perfect, still believing that might earn my mother’s love. I cleaned and cleaned and had everything in perfect order. To make sure everything stayed that way, I gave my young son some grape juice and put him in his bed to await their imminent visit. Within seconds he vomited the grape juice all over the new pillow and spread I had bought for the bed my mother would sleep in. This is so humorous now, and such a true reflection of my nauseating behavior and my even including him in the plan. His action forced me to look at myself and my sickening pattern of trying to be perfect to get love from her. Don’t you just love this boy!