It is always my pleasure to speak about Unstoppable Freedom. I love teaching people how to find and follow their passion, and to show them that they already have everything that they need to transform the landscape of their lives into something that reflects their innate purpose. When I share with my audiences, I remind them that my words will not make them free if they hear them, or even know them. Unstoppable Freedom only comes when we act.
Each of us want to connect. To love and be loved is our life’s highest calling. In our daily lives we are on a constant quest, searching for the place that we fit best. When we meet someone new, we conduct the obligatory “get-to-know-you chat.” We ask about them and tell stories about ourselves, and we begin to create a profile of who this new person is. What are they about? Where do they come from? What are they like? Where are they headed?
Now I am passionate in my love of humans and humanity. Give me all things ‘People’ and I am a happy camper. But even from this perspective, I do not necessarily see the human race through rose coloured glasses. Seriously, if you are going to really love humans, the only way to do this is warts and all. At the end of the day, our deep desire to connect may not always be about the high calling to selflessness, altruism and unconditional love. If we are brutally honest, we must admit that our own gain is one of our strongest motivators. Most, if not all, of our life choices are driven by the universal question: What’s in it for me?
This is true when we are connecting with people. Old friends, new friends, old enemies, new enemies. It’s all the same. Our relationships only work if we know exactly what we get out of what we put in. And what do we want more than anything else? To be valued. To be seen as significant. To be accepted and appreciated. When we connect with people, we are on the lookout for evidence that we matter. When we have those “get-to-know-you conversations”, we are really just doing yet another round of the same thing. We are investigating how they are like us. We are looking for ourselves.
Let’s see if you can see yourself in the highlights of my story. As you read through this list, why don’t you tick to see how many connection points we have? I want to spoil us both with the chance to find ourselves in our connection:
- Leader: Oldest child in a large dependant family
- Adventurer: Have always travelled and moved house a lot
- Pioneer: Left home at a young vulnerable age
- Conqueror: Terrified and overwhelmed teen mum
- Battler: Divorced single mum of two fighting the odds
- Romantic: Married again with the starry-eyed hope of having it all
- Driver: Ambitious business owner pushing forward into growth
- Teacher: Educator of people of all ages
- Widow: Lost husband at thirty-seven to face a new world
- Mother: With two adult children now leaving the nest
- Lover: Enjoying the delights of new love in rich new ways
- Author: Writing blogs, stories, books, talks
- Sharer: Of love and connection with those close to me
- Dreamer: Optimistic about possibilities always. My future is bright because my outlook makes it so
As you read my highlights, you are looking for your own. Think back to the last time you watched a movie, read a book, chatted with a friend, worked on a project … in everything we look for ourselves. We search for our person. We endlessly seek acknowledgement of our identity.
Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?
The wistful romance of this fairy tale question resonates in all of us, because we have all asked ourselves a version of this question. We all want to be certain that we are beautiful, worthy, successful, accepted, happy. Too often, we act like the Queen who asked that question of the Mirror. We become insecure and threatened by those around us, as if the beauty of others has any impact at all on our own. She looked into a place that should have reflected her own perfect image. In reality, as the story goes, she was truly beautiful. But something went wrong … the way she saw her own beauty made it not enough. She was vain, but not content with who she actually was. She wasn’t satisfied with her beauty, so the reflection she saw in the mirror was marred by her own doubts, fear, insecurities, hurts, offence, worries.
I wonder about that day when the mirror told the Queen that it was Snow White who was the most beautiful … was this the day that the Queen’s downtrodden view of herself finally got the better of her? The mirror couldn’t tell the Queen that she was the fairest of them all, because the reflection of a mirror can only show us what we are able to see. The Queen’s shortcomings allowed her to believe that her own beauty was not enough. So the mirror couldn’t tell her any different.
We know that the Queen’s corrupted outlook was toxic. Her distorted view sent her on a quest for answers where they could never be found. Instead of seeing her own beauty, the Queen sought to destroy it in others. She was convinced that beauty must be somewhere ‘out there’. Hidden in the outside world. In someone else. And she hated that. The Queen shows us perfectly how not to be free. In three easy steps she created her own demise:
- Refuse to be satisfied by your own beauty
- Compare yourself with others
- Seek to destroy the beauty in others, because you can’t see it in yourself
I wonder if Snow White really was the fairest of them all? Or was she simply the one who innocently accepted her own beauty, without question, shame or guilt. The mirror could tell the story of Snow White’s beauty, simply because Snow White accepted this as being true.
This metaphor of the mirror speaks volumes about our own quest for freedom. We search for ourselves because we all need to be truly free. To be free to love and be loved is our highest calling. Deep inside every one of us is the voice that directs us towards the fullest expression of our potential. To ensure that we arrive at this place of freedom, we must ensure that we have our eyes on what is real. We need to look only into our own perfect reflection. We must rid ourselves of the lenses that blind us and contort what we see. We must remove doubt to reveal our optimism. Rid ourselves of hurt to enjoy wholeness. Replace shame with confidence. Apathy with investment. Indifference with enthusiasm. Hopelessness with hope. Confusion with clarity. We must boldly say, “No more!”