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This week, the United States celebrated our Independence Day. Our nation has been free and sovereign unto itself since 1776.

What is freedom?

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines it as follows:

1 : the quality or state of being free: such as a: the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action b: liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another : INDEPENDENCE c: the quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerousfreedom from care d: unrestricted usegave him the freedom of their home e: EASE, FACILITYspoke the language with freedom f: the quality of being frank, open, or outspokenanswered with freedom g: improper familiarity h: boldness of conception or execution

2 a: a political right b: FRANCHISE, PRIVILEGE

I will share with you what prompted me to choose the topic of freedom for this post today. Over the course of the last few months, my Facebook account was gradually taken from my control, until yesterday morning when it was deactivated due to suspicious activity. I was indignant! I had to have it, didn't I? I thought it served as a platform that was necessary to my calling. After all, every morning I shared posts that I thought would help those who followed me. In truth, I had very few followers and, lately, almost all of my posts were seen only by a handful of people and very rarely liked or commented on. I had lost sight of how much time and attention I was allowing to be siphoned from me every day. I take total responsibility. No one twisted my arm. I had given up my freedom to a digital platform that really wasn't serving a positive purpose in my life or the lives of those I felt called to serve. Don't get me wrong, I liked it for other reasons, too. I enjoyed funny memes and posts from friends and family. And I am not trying to get anyone to dump Facebook. If you get something out of it that outweighs whatever negatives you might see, scroll away! But it had turned into a restriction for me. I felt I had to make posts, not that I wanted to. And it wasn't truly serving a useful purpose.

So, after scurrying around to try to get a new page up and running, this morning I decided to just let it all go. No more Facebook, no more Instagram. I even deleted the apps from my phone. I felt lighter and somehow freer than I had in a while. So, now, the question becomes, how can I serve? Since I still feel called to help people, what would you like to see here? Should I put in a discussion forum? I am open to suggestions. I want to make real connections. I know, I know, this is a digital platform too. But this one I at least have mostly under my control.

I will still have a LinkedIn presence and I have a YouTube channel. I have a lot to learn about making videos, so I should probably work on that. I had thought my video classes would be up and running by now. But I did finish my doctoral dissertation. My professor tells me it is looking very good and he will be suggesting just a few tweaks. Whew! That was a long project!

So, I guess I went the long way 'round to say I believe freedom involves simplifying your life. Let go of those things that you do on autopilot, especially if they serve no great purpose for you and those you care about. If you can't get excited about it, let it go! Make space for better! Break those chains and reclaim your freedom!

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