I just want to live the best life I can…don’t you?
Loving with conditions and living with restrictions doesn’t seem like an ideal way to live to me. But many of us don’t realize how much we live by conditions and restrictions.
I’ve never considered myself your average flower child. I am all about coexisting, spreading joy, and absolutely love and wouldn’t dare turn down a flower crown. However, I have my moments where I’m all about restrictions, professionalism and being tamed.
For the longest time I had the wrong perception of wild and free. I used to believe to be wild and free meant living with no regards to rules and being irresponsibly carefree. I guess I thought living with restrictions took me out of the running for being a true free spirit. Although, deep down in my heart I knew I was a wild child. Which I’m sure my sisters can attest to that. And aside from the love from my family, I assumed all other kind of love came with conditions. For a while I even lived in a way where I thought I needed to be a certain person with certain characteristics to even be loved unconditionally. I’ve learned that unconditional love isn’t determined by the one receiving it. It’s determined by the one giving it. If we had to be a “perfect person” to receive unconditional love, we would never truly be loved.
A couple of weekends ago, I had the opportunity to surround myself with beautiful and empowering women at the Boss Babe Boot Camp led by my dear old friend, Erika De La Cruz #OLFerforever. We discussed goals, hardships, fears, and possibilities. Let me just say, when I’m around these women I feel overwhelmingly blessed. They are my tribe of Boss Babes who remind me I can accomplish anything and everything.
During one of the sessions, we went around the room and voiced our most current or biggest fear.
I know that my fears are mostly stemmed from past experiences. My fears are things out of my control.
There was one fear that seemed most apparent to me. It was the fear of not being perceived for who I really am, or being some sort of fraud in a way. Come to find out this fear can also be known as the Impostor Syndrome. To dissect it a little further, it’s a fear of my actions not being seen as genuine or being seen as someone who I am NOT.
Essentially, this means I have a fear of judgment from others. On the contrary, I hardly ever follow the norm and usually don’t care what others say if I take a different path. So why is it that judgment is one of my biggest fears? I took a deeper look and found the judgement I fear is mostly from those (usually close to me) who question or expel my authenticity or genuineness.
It was a “light bulb” moment as I discussed this with a fellow Boss Babe. I connected the puzzle pieces together as I remembered each past experience of the judgement I feared. Flashing back to a basketball coach telling me I brought down the spirit of the team (which crushed me more than him telling me I wasn’t good enough). Flashing to former boyfriend accusing me of not making sacrifices for him, abandoning him and hurting him in ways that didn’t even compare to the ways he betrayed me. Or to a less sensitive one, of a close friend saying I go out a lot but not acknowledging that I work a lot too.
As I sat there and replied back to my fear, “Got it. I accept what you said, and thank you,” I could feel my fear getting smaller. It’s funny how when you give your fear a name and call it out, it diminishes its power over you.
I also realized this was the fear that also hindered me from loving wildly and living freely. The fear if I lived wild and free people would choose to see me as crazy, irresponsible and unauthentic. Or if I loved wild and free I would end up being misunderstood, hurt and broken. And though I had this hindering fear I also had an intense case of eleutheromania.
Eleutheromania (n.) a mania or frantic zeal for freedom – Webster-Dictionary
Eleutheria – Greek for freedom
I wanted to be free from the fear of judgment. But most of all I wanted to be free from loving with conditions and living tamed and restricted.
Living with restrictions and being restricted are two different things to me. I believe living with positive restrictions are necessary in my life. Restrictions like having a job, health spending habits, eating right, and exercising daily. And well, the list can go on but I think I proved my point. On the other hand, I cannot live too long in an atmosphere where I feel restricted. Somewhat feeling claustrophobic in certain situations. Being restricted from my emotions, beliefs, creativity, ideas, etc. are all things I need to express in order to feel like my complete wild and free self. If I am restricted from any of these I begin to lose myself in trying to conform to what others want me to be. I compromise who I am to please others in fear of judgement.
But what a beautiful thing it is to have faith in a God who gives me the freedom I crave.
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
2 Timothy 1:7
I am not living for the expectations and acceptance from others. I am living for the grace of God and for His glory. I can love wildly without the insecurities of not being good enough because I know my heart and, above all, God knows my heart. I know that if I follow the negative paths of others it will lead me back down the path of fear. But I can live freely and break away from the expectations and chains knowing that I have full faith in the path God created for me.
The same weekend I attended the Boss Babe Boot Camp I was simultaneously reading an inspirational book, Wild and Free. A hope-filled anthem for the woman who feels she is both too much and never enough by Jess Connolly & Haley Morgan.
There couldn’t have been a more perfect time for me to read this book. Struggling between if I’m lovable enough and being able to be my true self. Learning to accept my brokenness and know that it was all done for a purpose. And knowing I’m an imperfect person and as much as I try not to, sinning is inevitable in my lifetime. Our culture tends to make us feel we have the need to hide our sins and brokenness. I choose to accept them, call them out, and set them free.
The message from this book opened my heart and soul to let go of that fear I’ve been caring for years. It reminded me God is wild and free. His love is so wild that it never has conditions. There is nothing I can do to make Him love me more or less than he already does because He is fully capable of loving with all his might. God is free and has no restrictions. He created all things and nothing has power over him. He gave us life and living with free will.
He also gave us His only son to set us free from ALL of our sins. So yes, we must realize our sins and genuinely repent for them. But God forgives us always! Jesus didn’t die for my sins so I can carry that weight around for the rest of my life.We must learn to forgive ourselves and others. We must learn to let go of what’s holding us back. And most of the time it’s ourselves.
We all have our fears. Some come from traumatic backgrounds, others come from silent struggles and anything else in between. Whatever it may be, realize you have been given the power of self-control and the power of letting go. We are in control of how wild and free our lives can be.
You may see Love Wild Live Free in a completely different light than I do. I believe we all have our own ways to feel wild and free. And that’s because we all have a different purpose in this life. I love how Jess & Hayley reiterated this throughout their book that you are most you when you are living out your purpose. So find your purpose and live it out day to day and make this the best life ever.
“You are seen, you are chosen, you are free.” -Wild & Free