Free To Be Who You Are
This past Sunday, I assisted with Sunday Service as I often do at my spiritual center. As this was the 4th of July weekend, and the day before we celebrated our independence day, the topic of the Sunday talk was very appropriately titled.“Free to be Who You Are”.
Each week, the talks are inspirational, as an interfaith spiritual center, we seek to find the balance between living a human life with all of its flaws, and embracing the divine love and energy that is all around us. As an inclusive spiritual community, we investigate and study spiritual traditions from around the globe, both past and present, stripping away the man-made laws and dogma and seek to understand and embrace what is at the core of every spiritual and religious tradition. Love, Acceptance, tolerance and a desire to be more than we are, better than we are and to become who we are intended to be. Our guiding principle is to Embrace Humanity and Express Divinity. Ours as well as everyone else on the planet. As Matthew Fox wrote in “One River Many Wells,” all paths lead to God, lead to divinity – and it is not the destination in question but rather the path or journey we take getting there. In the end, each of us will find our way home, we will find our way back to the divine.
As a Gay Man, this message of Free to be who you are, was very powerful, as a man, this message was very powerful. As an aspiring minister this message was profound, and as a member of the human race, I felt the message deep within my bones. It does not matter who or what you are, we have the freedom to be and to express who and what we are. We can aspire to be more than we are, to be the light that leads others from darkness to light, we can be the example of love, compassion, and humility, or we can also be the shadow that blocks the light and the example of greed and self at all cost. The choice is ours.
And it is a choice. Love and compassion can change the direction of everything that we perceive to be negative, love and kindness can spread as quickly as hate and violence, each spreads one life, one soul, and heart at a time. No matter what we do, we are an example. How we choose to be that example is up to each and every one of us. And this was the important message I needed to hear.
I am an example, and I have the freedom to be that example. Looking in the mirror I have to ask, am I the example I wish others to follow? The short answer – No, not always. Yet I also recognize I am a work in progress. I am just as free to make mistakes, and mistakes I make plenty of. I choose, again it is about choice, to try and learn from those mistakes, to be the divine soul I know I am, to let the light within shine outward for others to see, and if they choose, to follow.
I read a lot. At any given time I have three or more books going, each one speaks of spiritual paths and how to be a better person. Some books I toss to the side, only to pick up later when the time is right. Yet with all the books I have read, with all the source material out there on how to make the world a better place, what seems to be forgotten is that peace is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Wars happen because someone or some group decided to go to war. Religious strife happens because churches and religious leaders choose to focus on their differences rather than what they have in common.
I worry about future because I chose to not always focus on the positive and mistrust those around me. I am alive today because I chose not to take my life many years ago when I placed the gun between my lips or stood on the roof with one foot over the edge. What I once called cowardice, was bravery. And either outcome would have been my choice, again, my freedom to be who I am.
And so this week, I share this profound message with you. My readers. You have the right to live the life you desire. You have the right to express your life as you see fit. No person, no man, woman, child, gay, straight or bisexual, white, black, green or purple should ever be repressed or discriminated against and kept from the divine freedoms we are each born with. That freedom of choice, freedom to be who we are. Now just to throw a tiny little caveat in, if being free to be who you are involves anything illegal or that hurts another, we, expressing our freedom to be who are free to react and stop you from hurting others. We do not have to like everyone, in fact, the chances of this are very small.Yet if each and every one of us where to show just an ounce of compassion, smile one time more than normal, try to understand someone else's point of view, world peace would spread from one side of the world to the other. The choice is mine. The choice is yours.
Change nothing and you have already chosen. Remember you have the freedom to be you.