Small Freedoms

I say no to myself a lot.

I say no to the little musings in my heart, the little begs for self-care, the whispers of the life I want to live.

I tell myself, Later. Someday I will. Someday I’ll have more time.

I treat those little ‘asks’ as distractions in favor of the big to-do things I have to get done.

I don’t have time, I say.

Or, It’s stupid. What will people think?

That’s selfish. You should be doing things that are on your to-do list and rushing from one thing to the next.

I try to stuff them down and away in favor of routine, because that is proof that clearly they don’t fit. I don’t have time for them. Someone once told me that routine can be really dangerous, robbing us of actually living. I think he was right.

After robotically living another day of saying no to the small things in my heart, I try to distract myself, filling up on all the things that leave me feeling empty—scrolling, snacking, sugar, alcohol, binge-watching, online shopping, checking emails incessantly, texting—things that the world insists are “normal.”

But those little musings quietly and gently continue to bubble up, inviting me to live a wholehearted, authentic life. They ask quietly for me to set the busyness, rushing, doing, and incessant noise aside and to take hold of a simpler more creative way of being.

To give life to these little musings are small freedoms. They don’t actually take much time at all, and they give me so much life.

To allow myself the space and time to indulge in a real life involves me simply giving myself one small freedom after another until I find that I am actually living a life from the inside-out, authentically, rather than a life influenced and controlled from the outside-in, controlled by a culture that tells me to rush and hurry, to get it all done while filling my head and my heart with incessant noise, drowning out whatever is quiet and creative and spiritual.

Small freedoms.

The small freedom to write this blog.
The (scary) small freedom to share it.

The small freedom to take a long slow bath rather than rush through a shower so I can get to the next thing on the list.

The small freedom to sip coffee and watch the sunrise instead of chugging it down while packing lunches.

The small freedom to sit and sip a drink and do nothing but think and process the day and how I think and feel.

The small freedom to go for a walk to clear my head rather than pushing through the list.

The small freedom to go to yoga on the beach with a friend rather than rushing through the usual morning routine.

These small freedoms take the place of all the rushing, scrolling, check-list checking.

It is the small freedom to live my life instead of going through the motions.

The small freedoms to say yes to the things that make me feel alive.

Because I know that someday I am going to look back on my life and wish that I had given myself the freedom to be who I am, to live out what God has placed in my heart, to be who I want to be, to do the things that really matter to me instead of doing all the things the world says I SHOULD do.

I will wish I had written my heart on these pages and had been brave enough to share it rather than filling my mind with distractions and noise of all the little insignificant, unimportant things.

Maybe you want the small freedom to paint, or to write a book, or take a yoga class. Maybe you want the small freedom to start going to church or wake up early to have quiet time. Maybe it’s just taking a walk every day or being in nature. They are the things that bring no monetary value and accomplish nothing momentous according to the world. They are often creative or spiritual. They require a bit of bravery. They are the things that remind you that you are alive.

These small things are the things that so easily get pushed aside until we have lived a life of pushing the small most wonderful things to the margins in favor of the big empty ‘shoulds.’

I suspect we all have small freedoms our hearts are secretly begging for that we stuff down in favor of more doing, more noise, more scrolling, texting, bingeing, shopping, ______(fill in the blank).

I wonder what would happen if we all gave ourselves permission, if we all gave ourselves the small freedoms to do the things that are in our hearts.

7 thoughts on “Small Freedoms”

  1. Thank you Jacqueline for sharing your wise words. I feel like I’m currently on that little hamster wheel of life, too busy for that much needed break to do something I “love”to do. You have me thinking that today I “can” carve out a little me time and be happier for it.

  2. Jacqueline… you have an uncanny ability to communicate your thoughts through written word. This is a real talent. Your words are applicable to all who read them. Time to step back and turn “someday I will” to “Today I will”. Great life lesson. Love ya and proud of you!!

  3. I’m grateful you allowed yourself the “small freedom” of sharing your thoughts. It’s a great reminder. Thank you.

  4. I love this. As my kids are older teens now and I’m struggling with so much, I am really focusing on noticing little moments of simple joy in each day. Thank you for the reminder to give myself permission to create them as well 💕

  5. Ohhhhh my gosh J. You express yourself in such a soft and gentle, and eloquent manner, yet the message is so huge and powerful!!!! God has given you a gift. I encourage you to continue this, you are no doubt helping so many people, and in the process helping you! Dang girl….I just love you so much. “You da bomb”! lol. Auntie Terri

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *