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A New Freedom and A New Happiness

This morning I woke up thinking about a deadline I missed that involved entering my book in a major contest. I simply forgot since I had so much going on in my life with family, career, life. There was nothing I could do about it and yet it consumed my thoughts and I beat myself up and further still, didn’t pay attention to the words and feelings of those around me. I finally had to keep telling myself to “let it go.” I realized I needed to pray for freedom from my obsessive thoughts and regrets and things over which I have absolutely no control. This week we in the United States celebrate our nation’s freedom, and our various freedoms as Americans to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  But what about our personal freedom? Do you feel truly free in the ways that count? Free of fear, regrets, resentments, anxiety? Free of addiction, loneliness, the need to control, judgement of or comparison with others, people pleasing, co-dependency, low self esteem? Perhaps it’s time to look at ourselves and question how free we really are, and if we don’t like the answer, to work to become completely free from our egos, our self-restraints, our self-bondage. In the 12-Step recovery program’s “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, there is a list of promises that the program says will come true if you “are painstaking” about your development and work for them.  These are the “The Promises”: “We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.” It is a spiritual program, which means if you truly work to become closer to God as you understand Him and become less self-centered and more focused on serving others, you will have a “new freedom” and “new happiness” that results.  I appreciate my freedom as an American. But it is not enough, or doesn’t mean anything, if I am not right with God and free from my own negative thinking, my own addictions or compulsions, my own self-centered ego. My dreams and aspirations don’t mean a thing if I don’t share them to help others.  As St. Paul says to the Galatians in the Bible, “For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.” I pray that when I get too deep in self-centered or negative thinking, worrying about things over which I have no control, or obsessing over regrets or resentments, I can “let go and let God” remove whatever is ailing me or blocking me from being my best spiritual self, and be truly free to not only be a proud American but to enjoy the personal peace, joy and love God wants me to experience through knowing and serving Him and others. HAPPY 4TH of JULY! For more information on my latest novel, The Jealous Son, a modern murder mystery based on Cain and Abel, or to purchase the book, visit my website “Books” page: or:

Michele Chynoweth

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