With a day of celebrating under our belts in the states, many American citizens still have the residue of yesterday on their hearts and minds.
Gratitude. Dignity. Honor. Sacrifice. Freedom
We are thankful. For the men and women that have given their lives and comforts in modern history and, this month especially, for those who acted from the bravado of their soul, knowing that liberty was God’s ordination to mankind and justice was the birthright of their brethren.
The Fourth of July is a special time for us in the USA: we eat, we laugh, we appreciate, we celebrate. Fireworks and charcoal highlight our evenings and afternoons. The heart of America beats with strength.
And then the fifth comes. It always comes.
We roll out of our beds, back into our work attire, into our cars and commutes.
We’re back to the daily grind.
Lunches to make, ordinary Wednesdays to live out.
Practices to get to, presentations to give, proposals to draft.
It’s the 5th of July. Back to reality.
But on this side of the globe, even the most mundane reality packs a load of good news.
There’s ALWAYS good news: you’re as free as you were yesterday. There’s as much to celebrate on hump day as there is on America’s birthday.
As you move out of long weekends and patriotic enthusiasm, we want to encourage you to continue savoring your freedom, growing in your liberty, and expanding your independence.
First, spiritual liberty – we know that "it is for freedom Christ set us free". We echo the many Christian voices that have pronounced this sacred truth through the weekend.
Second, national liberty – we are THE most liberated patch of land across this world. While we at CM do not ignore the social strides left to make in our beautiful country, it’s no secret that we are the most equipped to pursue such progress.
And third, your personal liberty – the very definition of independence means self-rule and separation. Christ’s lordship over us DOES mean that He is our guide, our director, and our captain. We DO, however, invest our will, our time, and our thoughts into our daily habits, established routines, and time spent. Are you living in TRUE personal liberty or are there certain faculties bound up to less than ideal things?
This 5th of July, we’ve compiled a quick list of THREE things you can do TODAY to grow deeper into your personal, practical freedom. From negativity, lack of productivity, anxiety, and more.
The whole country is free. You may as well be, too!
Five Things To Make You Free Indeed:
1. Stop Doing Drugs: The average American spends FIVE hours a day on their phone. Did you know that app developers have figured out how many likes/notifications on social media will cause a dopamine release in your brain? That’s why online behavior is SO addicting – the scroll-then-zone-out cycle is like a literal high. It can easily consume your thoughts, time, and consequentially your productivity in all areas of life. Put down the screen drugs and find ways to retrain your mind to enjoy the best invention of all time: human beings. (Don’t believe us? Refer to 60 Minutes recent interview with app developers through their website)
2. Stop This Train: Negativity and anxiety are just as addicting as the screen! Do you know someone who always has a reflex Debbie Downer remark: about situations, others, or themselves. Maybe you are Debbie. Have you ever caught yourself unraveling a minor situation into an absolute catastrophe when nothing THAT bad had even happened yet? It can be crippling, paralyzing, and quite plainly, just annoying. Great news: you aren’t a slave to that personality “trait”*. You have probably just trained your mind to go there over time. Long story short: your neurotransmitters follow the beaten path they find (think of them as running through the woods of your mind) and if you’ve taken the route of negative thinking long enough, it’s a pretty worn in trail for them to follow, right? If you’ve begun a cycle of negative self-perceptions or outlooks, or if you have made mountains out of molehills for an extended period of time, the only way to stop it is on purpose. Stop yourself from getting in the slump today, whatever that may be, by saying outloud “I do NOT have to go there. I am sending my neurotransmitters down a DIFFERENT path. This will be fine, I am confident, even if the worst thing happens, everything will work out in the end!” Some psychologists even suggest soothing anxiety by repeating the anxious thought out loud (or in your head if you’re in public) in a creepy mouse voice so that it sounds less daunting. It’s like making fun of your anxiety and negativity, and while it sounds absolutely silly, it works on a physiological level.
*We know anxiety is more than a mood for many individuals and, in fact, is a chemical imbalance. By no way do we intend to discredit or disregard the professional, medical advice/counsel you have received from any licensed physician. We refer here to the mild daily anxieties every person experiences on an interpersonal level.
3. Start Smiling: This is so simple you are probably frustrated, but we mean it! Sometimes, moods and thoughts can become overbearing and overpowering. We don’t want to “feel” something, but we feel it nonetheless. Forbes helped us out with this dilemma: SMILE and smile big! Decades of research boost the claim that for some reason, even if you are consciously faking it, the muscular activation that takes place in your face when you spread a smile across your demeanor improves mood, reduces stress, and even lowers heart rate levels in tense situations. They confirmed this with something called the “chopstick” study, but we’ll spare you the details here and point you this way if you don't buy it. (Really, though, who needs to be convinced to smile?)
There you have it.
Three steps to free indeed. We hope you enjoyed your Fourth. We hope you’re more free on your Fifth. And we pray the Sixth is the greatest you've ever had. From us to you, be free.