The fourth of July is always a good reminder to think of the freedom that has come to me as a result of rebuilding my life through the 12 Steps. Here’s part of a list that I wrote 20 years ago (!); I was going to update it but it’s as meaningful to me today as it was then.
1. Freedom from the prison of obsession and compulsion.
2. Freedom from the need to use food as a mood-altering drug.
3. Freedom to change, free to change my mind, to be flexible rather than rigid.
4. Freedom to not need to figure everything out, to let go of endless analysis (analysis paralysis), to accept the mystery of life.
5. Freedom to be who I am, to align my actions with my values, to say what I want to say rather than what I think you want me to say.
6. Freedom to love and to accept love. The wall is down. I can be vulnerable.
7. Freedom from paralyzing resentment. Freedom to deal with the world as it is.
8. Freedom from paralyzing fear. Do it anyway. Trust that God will not give me more than He and I can handle.
9. Freedom to live life fully rather than just endure. Go for it. Proactive rather than reactive.
10. Freedom from perfectionism. Freedom from everything needing to be neat & tidy & finished at the end of the day.
11. Freedom from paralyzing doubt. Find God, listen to what he has to say, then do it.
12. Freedom from selfishness (more often than not).
13. Freedom to let others be who they want to be. Live and let live.
14. Freedom to begin again always, until I’m 6 feet under. I don’t drown by falling into the water, only by staying there.
15. Freedom to make choices. I have choices I didn’t know I had. No longer a victim, a prisoner.
16. Freedom to feel pain, and then move on without wallowing.
17. Freedom to be average.
18. Freedom to fail sometimes.
19. Freedom from the need to pretend – phoniness.
20. Freedom from the need to place blame. Accept what is. Focus on solution alternatives.
21. Freedom from shame.
22. Freedom from procrastination.
23. Freedom from envy.
24. Freedom from needing others’ approval in order to feel okay about myself.
25. Freedom from the illusion of self-sufficiency and self-reliance. I need others.
26. Freedom from lack of purpose. Love and service is the purpose of life.