Choosing freedom



Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for twenty-seven years. Separated from his family, friends and the rest of the world. He was forced to spend many of his days pounding rocks into gravel.

 TWENTY-SEVEN YEARS! (Caps are intentional. I’m yelling)

 His crime was working to free the people of South Africa from an oppressive culture of racism, segregation, and discrimination.

 While most of us have never been in jail, many of us have indeed been held captive.  Our shackles were formed from past failures, abuse, bad relationships, devastating loss, addiction, and heartache. Our cells are constructed out of limiting beliefs, fear, constantly looking back, and negative self-talk.

The challenges of life have a way of shaping our perspective. Sometimes our vision is so skewed that we can only see the negative. Some of us have really great lives and yet are still live distracted by that one thing that we did or was done to us by someone else.

 Nelson Mandela was, by his own admission, bitter and hateful.

 Who wouldn’t be?

 I’ve been there…

 The kids who bullied me…

 A father who was very tough…

 The mistakes I’ve made, some of them over and over…

 People I’ve wronged…

The chains of our past are strong, but the good news is that they are not unbreakable.

 To that point Nelson Mandela said the following:

“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison.”

He offers no method or step-by-step process. He also doesn’t imply that it was easy.

What he does indicate is very simple.

He knew he had a choice.

What choices you could make today to begin to move powerfully in the direction of freedom?

It’s not a rhetorical question.


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