In the present moment, we are always free to think and feel whatever we want. No matter the circumstance, no one can dictate what we think about. Our thoughts are always our own. Unless we are under the influence of some type of mind altering drug, we are free to think about what we want. If we were in prison, as Nelson Mandela was for 27 years, we could still decide weather to harbor hate or foster forgiveness.
We can still decide either to grow hope in our heart or despair. We can either prepare ourselves or we can tenaciously hang on to our past. These choices are always ours to make in each moment. To harbor anger and resentment, the Buddha says is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. To forgive and never lose hope no matter the circumstances is to exercise our right to chose what we think about.
What we think about dictates how we feel. If we think hopeful thoughts we will feel much different than if we dwell on discouraging thoughts. Hate fosters dark feelings, forgiveness fosters peace and joy. If we spend our time focusing on thoughts of regret, we will feel hopeless and sad. If we spend our time and energy focusing on thoughts of process, improvement, learning, and growing we will feel feelings of joy and excitement. If we focus on thoughts of overwhelm, noise and dysfunction, we will feel anxious, suppressed and weak. If we think we are alone, disconnected and isolated we will feel deep sadness, gloom and desperation.
What we find difficult is to change the deep rooted default thoughts and emotions that we have played over and over in our minds and hearts. But we are not victims. We are always free to throw off those robes that weigh us down and bind us. We are free to change the way we think, always, in every moment. Now is the time. It is not always easy but there is no foe to fight. We are free to change what we think about and to change how we feel.
When we change our thoughts and our feelings we change our perspective. The world, our circumstances, and our relationships all look different.
We are completely Free!