Freedom… Freedom… Freedom! ? ✨

Happy 4th of July! Independence Day! Happy Red, White + Blue Day!

Whichever way you say it, today is about celebrating freedom! While today we’re celebrating a specific type of freedom, there are many other interpretations and meanings of the word.

What is YOUR definition of freedom?

Tell us about it and discuss it with our online community. You can request access by clicking here! Today, we’re going to share our interpretations of freedom and what the word really means to us. We hope you enjoy this open, vulnerable blog and look forward to reading your comments and engaging in conversation in the community discussions.

RACHEL

To me, freedom means being able to be who you are and say what you feel.

Freedom means little to no censorship.

Freedom is being able to do what you want.

I picked this image because the Human Rights Campaign represents everything freedom means to me. Here is their mission statement:

The Human Rights Campaign and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation together serve as America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve LGBTQ equality. By inspiring and engaging individuals and communities, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBTQ people and realize a world that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

The Human Rights Campaign envisions a world where lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people are ensured equality and embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

I know that this isn’t the only type of freedom. And, I also realize that the definition of freedom changes constantly based on our perspective. I mean, when I was 16, freedom was getting my driver’s license. And, if I were alive in 1800 and married to Alexander Hamilton, I’d most definitely have a different view of what freedom means.

We live in a time where we’re told we’re the freest we’ve ever been, and yet, it doesn’t feel that way from where I’m sitting. We are free from some horrible laws that have existed over the years (women not being able to vote, white people being able to own black slaves, etc.). However, we aren’t free from a very scary time in our political system and we sure as heck aren’t free from hate.

I hate the word hate.

It’s so yucky. It is such a strong word and seems like it needs only be used in the most needed of times. However, there is hate in our country right now. There’s hate against our President (for what are good and obvious reasons, but we won’t get into that), we hate each other – be it people of other races, cultures, countries, genders, or sexualities. People generally hate what they don’t understand. Because things that we don’t understand scare us.

I hope that if this article makes it into your life and you’re reading it that you can take a moment and think about how you can help create a space that is free from hate. Possibly, even free from judgment?! In our only community, we try to do just that. But, we have 113 people in there, and there are BILLIONS in the world. How can you contribute to a hate-free world? That, to me, would be the ultimate freedom.

freedom

KYLE

Freedom can mean a lot of different things. I guess the impression of freedom I want to focus on this year is the one from yourself. Sometimes, the inside of your head can be a tough place to get out of.

Obligations. Tasks. Shoulds. To-Dos. Where I need to be. When I need to be there.

We often hold ourselves to unrealistic standards of productivity due to the fast pace of life nowadays; Not to mention fighting to stay afloat in this every more expensive world we live in.

I try to practice freedom from myself. Freedom from what I “should” do. I try to take a step back from whatever I am doing and remember to take some time for what I want. Some days I could just do task after never-ending task until I dropped into bed from exhaustion. Now I am not saying that days like that are bad by any means, we all need to buckle down and get things done from time to time, but it’s no way to live.

Practice a little freedom from responsibilities when you can. We all need to blow off some steam sometimes. Remember to reward yourself, especially with something delicious and fatty – like fried pickles. Yummm.

Freedom = Fried Pickles. Now ain’t that America?

We may all have a different definition of freedom, but whatever it is, we hope you enjoy your holiday and reflect on what freedom does mean to you.