Personal Freedom

5 02 2011

Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.

Viktor E.Frankl

We hear a lot of talk about Personal Freedom – but what does this really mean?

In his best selling book, ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ – based upon his experience of being incarcerated in a Nazi concentration camp during the second world war – Frankl observed that those most likely to survive these inhumane conditions were the ones who could still find some meaning to their lives – in spite of their external circumstances.

During my life, I have often found myself in difficult situations that I would have preferred not to be in!

Being challenged by outside circumstances beyond my control – I learnt that the only ‘control’ I do have – is over my own thoughts and emotions.

Whenever I find myself in such a place, I maintain my sense of Personal Freedom by disengaging from the emotion of the situation and releasing any desire to try and  ‘control’ the outcome.

My definition of Personal Freedom is remembering that I have the Choice – to honour myself and my needs – over and above any external demands being made on me.

And with this Choice comes Personal Responsibility. 

By learning to value myself and to understand that my time is precious – I am choosing to spend more time doing the things I love and to be with the people I care about the most. 

Knowing that I have the power to choose how I view and respond to a situation at any given time makes all the difference in the quality of my life’s experience. 

I can choose to see beyond the immediate drama and recognise the lesson – or opportunity – contained within the situation…

…or I can choose to get involved in the performance and let it affect my sense of self and my enjoyment of the moment. 

Personal Freedom…It’s Our Choice!

Day 36 – 365 Days of Celebration

Today I will be celebrating by choosing do to the things I love – with the people I love to do them with the most!

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32 responses

5 02 2011
writerwoman61

This is something I need to practice more…since I’m a Cancer, I tend to take everything personally! Like the Frankl quote too!

Wendy

5 02 2011
eof737

Ah! One of my favorite quotes and I re-read the book “Man’s Search for Meaning” again and again. We must choose what helps us be at peace with ourselves and what makes us grow… 🙂
Have a restful weekend!
Eliz

5 02 2011
Quidmont

Beautifully said Julie.

I didn’t understand why so many of my friends listed “The Shawshank Redemption” as their favourite film until I saw it. It was nothing like what I expected from the commercials. It was a film about just what you speak of here.

This is a very powerful message. Thank you for reminding us all about it. Truly worth celebrating!

– Bob

6 02 2011
1961 Girl

Hi Bob,

Shawshank Redemption is one of my favourite films as well – very powerful – and so beautifully made. It deserves the accolades in my opinion.

Personal freedom is priceless…and can be attained in any situation…no matter how bad it first appears. Best wishes, Juls 🙂

ps. you forget to wish me ‘Happy Birthday’!
(note to other readers…Bob agreed to wish me a Happy Birthday every time he left a comment and he has been true to his word – until now!)

6 02 2011
Quidmont

Hi Juls and *H*A*P*P*Y* *B*I*R*T*H*D*A*Y* !!! 😀

Wish I could figure a way to make it colourful and bold and underlined and all those neat things. Even more I wish I could figure a way to retrofit it to my earlier comment! :S

Sorry for the slip. But I’ll make up for it. 🙂

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
APPY BIRTHDAY!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
PPY BIRTHDAY!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
PY BIRTHDAY!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
Y BIRTHDAY!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

BIRTHDAY!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
IRTHDAY!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
RTHDAY!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
THDAY!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
HDAY!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
DAY!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
AY!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
Y!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

(How am I doing so far? 😉 )

Can you tell that Papa Joe and I used to work together way back when this was actually fancy on a computer print-out?!

Happy Birthday Julie. 🙂 I’ll be by each day to help you celebrate. 😀

Thanks for making such a delightful place to meet you.

– Bob

7 02 2011
1961 Girl

LOVE IT!!!

THANK YOU
THANK YOU THANK YOU
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!

Good to know that you and Papa Joe had such a mis-spent youth!
Juls 🙂

6 02 2011
Quidmont

BTW – Check my blogs today for a fancier font “Happy Birthday”. 😉

Happy Birthday Juls!

– Bob

5 02 2011
Knight

Wow. I have read Viktor Frankl’s book, Your blogs just get better and better. Your writing style is eloquent and beautiful and you have a natural talent. You speak from a knowledge of the human condition but with a spiritual uplift. I have a feeling that a selection of your blogs will appear in due course in printed form and be a best seller. You must consider writing a book .
So glad you did not give up the challenge of a daily blog.

5 02 2011
Quidmont

I’ll second that Knight!

5 02 2011
Piglet in Portugal

I think knight’s comments (above) sums up what I would like to say perfectly!

5 02 2011
mrsled

Thank you Julie for an inspiring piece of writing. I am a Saggittarian so I do my own thing anyway, but it is good to once in a while think about how we view personal freedom.
have a great Day!

6 02 2011
1961 Girl

Fire signs are usually pretty much ‘go-getters’ which may go some way to explaining why you’ve always enjoyed your sense of personal freedom. Thank you for being such an inspiration. Have a great weekend. Juls 🙂

5 02 2011
frizztext

I maintain my sense of Personal Freedom by disengaging from the emotion of the situation… – well said!
greetings from
http://flickrcomments.wordpress.com/2011/02/04/distant-point-of-view/

6 02 2011
1961 Girl

Thank you my lovely…you are so sweet with all the supportive comments you leave – thank you.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend.
Juls 🙂

5 02 2011
Seashell

Very timely post for me Juls. I have disengaged myself from the emotion of my job and, surprisingly enough, am happy and excited about the future! I can’t control that either, but my personal freedom is choosing the future rather than to dwell on the now.
~ shell

6 02 2011
1961 Girl

Hi Shell.

Well done you on managing to disengage yourself from the emotion of your job. To step outside of the emotion of any situation takes a lot of courage and self-control. And when you are successful…the sense of personal freedom you will enjoy as a result is well worth the effort of having let go.

Good luck for a happy and rewarding future. Please keep us posted!
Juls 🙂

5 02 2011
Jenny Marlow

lovely topic.
Interesting radio article this morning on whether we are social or private animals. As always, some are more one thing than the other – and it’s hard to synch the differences with all our friends when people are all being public or private at different times!

for example: how to communicate? a phone call interrupts – email doesn’t but seems remote to some people who just don’t look at their emails often enough or their texts.

Skype can be brilliant – because when Clicked On, you know they are there and UP for a conversation and you can see them – the best option – excluding the bit when you look rubbish and think you are alone with your computer – and someone phones you – god what a shock.

The other problem is that almost everyone seems to forget to switch themselves on – ever ! bottom line – all these options – but it’s a minefield to work out the best way for every single person you know !

5 02 2011
Edson Camara

Our personal freedom is totally linked with the people who lives around us mainly those we are related for. This week end I am home alone due for a family trip that I cann´t go. I have all the freedom that I can afford, but I am sad because my wife and daughter is not near me.

6 02 2011
expressbywords

I also think the only thing you can do when you are in a situation beyond your control, is to accept and and not let it be the end of the world. There are many other things that amuse us, that actually we love to do. So it’s advisable to focus on them and move on!!!

6 02 2011
1961 Girl

When we feel as though we are caught up in a situation beyond our control, the best thing we can do is withdraw and re-connect with ourselves. The drama may continue raging around us, but if we take away our energy from the mix, it no longer has the power to affect us in the same way. You are so right…focus on the things we love to do…and spend time we the people we love and who accept us unconditionally. Juls 🙂

6 02 2011
Dona Skaggs

wonderful post, great guidance thru Personal Freedom, this has really helped me thank you love your blog

6 02 2011
1961 Girl

Hi Dona. Glad you liked my post. Thanks for stopping by. Juls 🙂

6 02 2011
Happy Birthday Julie! « Quidmont

[…] Oh, and I forgot to say “Happy Birthday” in one of my comments to her in her post on Personal Freedom, (https://1961girl.wordpress.com/2011/02/05/personal-freedom/#comment-560). […]

6 02 2011
Happy Birthday Julie! « Take a Ride on the Reading

[…] Oh, and I forgot to say “Happy Birthday” in one of my comments to her in her post on Personal Freedom, (https://1961girl.wordpress.com/2011/02/05/personal-freedom/#comment-560). […]

6 02 2011
Tarot Reading

Hi Juls!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Quidmont asked me to pop by to help make up for a lost Happy Birthday earlier. 😉

So *H*A*P*P*Y* *B*I*R*T*H*D*A*Y* Julie!!!

– Bob (Tarot) Johnston (a.k.a. Quidmont 😉 )

7 02 2011
1961 Girl

So many Happy Birthday’s…how lucky am I!!!

I will have to store them all up and surround myself in good wishes for the rest of the year.

Thank you Bob (Tarot) Johnston (a.k.a.Quidmont)
Think I’ll stick to just calling you Bob though…that line takes far to long to type out! 🙂

8 02 2011
Tarot Reading

Which is another way of keeping a lid on how much time we spend blogging! 😉

– Bob

8 02 2011
Tarot Reading

Oops … And …

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JULIE!

– Bob

9 02 2011
1961 Girl

Thank you Bob. May day is always made brighter by your daily Happy Birthday wishes!

Juls 🙂

7 02 2011
Papa Joe

What an empowering post Julie. Thank you so much. You really have something to celebrate every day. It should make for a wonderful birthday year!

Happy Birthday!

– Papa Joe

7 02 2011
8 02 2011
Marion Driessen

Personal freedom, most precious of all. Again a wonderful post Juls *hugs*

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