Something I've been thinking a lot about recently is what various things mean to different people. You know, how values affect us in different ways.
I thought about freedom. It's not something I've thought for long in the past (have you ever sat around and thought about freedom? weird) but when the thought struck me, I realized freedom is something I desire daily.
My take on it is this: freedom is saying whatever you say, thinking whatever you think, taking up what you may, blogging what you blog and being accepted for it. Not agreed with. But accepted.
I think love without freedom is no love at all.
To be respected for your beliefs, but to go beyond being respected, and being given the ability to just be yourself. To not have to watch how you speak around some people, or be afraid to share your beliefs in fear of being judged, disliked or unfollowed.
I also think commitment without freedom is frail.
In the simplest of forms and to paint a picture, when we follow a blog, we commit to walk with them. In their outfits, their stories, struggles, pictures. And if we're giving them freedom to be themselves, we unconditionally allow them to express their whole selves and all they are willing to share.
I desire so deeply to be surrounded by people who I never have to worry if I said or did the wrong thing. People who wether they just met me, or have known me my whole life, I feel a sense of comfort to just do me without even giving it a thought. Because you only think about it when you don't feel fully accepted.
I am so fortunate that the core people around me can see me, accept me and love me when I'm at my worst. In the worst mood, with the worst attitude, when we disagree.
However, growing up, I felt the pressure of needing to be a certain way, molded in a certain perfection that I constantly fell short of. I now see that the people who put this pressure on me, did not do it with bad intentions, but it nevertheless didn't allow me to bloom in my own skin. I did that outside of my house. And I think some of the mistakes I made in those years, I could have possibly avoided if I felt I could be myself at home and not have to discover me outside of it.
Nowadays, the pressure is different. I don't feel the need to be perfect, but from time to time I run into people who make me feel like I have to watch the way I speak, act, think..around them. It hinders those relationships from blooming into what they could be if we could just naturally grow.
Even in blogging, the fear of judgement is ever-present. And what can we do about people who unfollow because they don't like something, or say disapproving things? Nothing. Because we are not responsible for them.
From the One who said "it is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35), we can give freedom. I can commit to love and accept even when I disagree. I don't have to support things I don't believe in, but I can listen to them, and allow those I'm around to say what they want to say, and live like they live, because I really believe that if I'm trying to love and impact somebody in the right way, I have to let them be them. To me, that's freedom. What does freedom signify to you?