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Freedom

At the time of this writing, I am in Salt Lake City, Utah for the Young Living International Grand convention. If you’re not familiar with Young Living, we are the world leader in essential oils. I joined YL in October 2013, and essential oils have remarkably changed my physical health.

More significantly, Young Living has prompted profound change in my emotional health and the way I look at both myself and the outside world. In August 2015, I watched a video from a speech at that year’s convention by Mary Young, wife of founder D. Gary Young, and the company’s CEO. Mary is this tiny little woman with the fire and tenacity of a 20-foot tall giant. She is fierce and passionate, and I have admired her since the first time I heard her speak.

As the video played, I listened to Mary talk about poverty, success, and not letting your mindset keep you stuck in one or from achieving the other. After sharing about her own meager beginnings and a decision to always have money in her pocket, Mary boldly said, “Money is freedom!” I stopped short. What? Money is not freedom, I thought. I nearly stopped the video and checked out. But my respect for her kept my finger from tapping pause. Let me just see where this is going, I thought.

“Money in the hands of good people does good things, and that creates freedom!” she shouted. Mary talked about philanthropy, and how good has the power to ultimately overcome evil in the world. Um, ok. Yeah. I can get down with all of that. But I’m still broke, so…

My mindset had me stuck. I had always been broke, and I was always going to be broke. Surviving. That was the game, and I was player level: Expert. As I listed to Mary talk, I felt an internal battle. Something inside me trying to shake the old mindset. A little voice said, “Why not?”

Another little voice said, “because it never has been , and never will be.”

“But why not? Why not me? Why not us?”

I pondered that thought for several minutes. I rolled back Mary’s words and played them over and over again. I felt a shift happening in my spirit. Why not me? Why not us (my family)? In just that moment, I suddenly began to believe Freedom is for me. For my family. Because Why Not?

Poverty does something to you. To your mind. Living in a perpetual state of mere survival makes it seem as though living in a state of abundance—having everything you need to live and give abundantly—is something that is magical and unattainable to all but those who have that Midas touch. Although the shift in my spirit happened in a moment, it has taken a great deal of effort to solidify that state of mind, and daily effort to maintain it. I am constantly monitoring my self-talk and thought processes to keep myself from falling back into old thinking.

I still don’t know how I will ultimately have the level of Freedom that I know in my spirit will be mine, but I wake up each day and choose to be content with God’s provision for today. Right now, today, Freedom looks like not being enslaved to a poverty mindset. It looks like giving freely and joyfully and letting God take care of the rest. It looks like serving others and being blessed by being a blessing. Most of all it looks like obedience to what God is calling me to day-by-day, and not getting ahead of his process and timing.

The theme for this year’s convention is Freedom. As I listened to Mary’s speech to open convention yesterday, I thought about where I was (in life) when I heard her open convention three years ago. I looked back just long enough to honor where I was, and to experience the great wash of gratitude I feel for how far I’ve come. I’ve decided that Freedom isn’t a destination, it’s a journey. A journey of moments, decisions, and small steps that culminate into the fullness of who God created us to be. That’s the real freedom, right there.

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