Updated: Apr 2
noun freedom \ ˈfrē-dəm\
: the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint
About three months ago while enjoying the perks of relaxation, I was able to catch the movie, “The Help” on cable television. “The Help” is a movie I have seen numerous times; however, something was different about this viewing. As I was both mentally and emotionally simulated by its refreshing content, God used this moment to once again unpack my insecurities and fears, placing them right in the forefront of my mind.
I was stifled.
I was stifled by the reality that I am not free—free from the restraints associated with persons’ thoughts and opinions of me.
I was reminded.
I was reminded that I talk a “good game”—a game characterized by the notion that “I don’t care about what people think (and/or perceive) of me.”
As God continued to unpack various items embroidered with my fears and sown with my insecurities, I immediately picked up those items, threw them back into the luggage of my soul and continued to watch the movie. So, let’s fast-forward to one of the last scenes of the movie…
“You is kind, you is smart, you is important." - May Mobley Leefolt (character from the movie, “The Help”)
These iconic words were originally stated several times by Viola Davis’ character, Aibileen Clark (or “AB”), to the toddler actress’ character, May Mobley Leefolt. May Mobley’s nanny was AB. AB would verbally reiterate this phrase to May Mobley, while taking care of her every need, as a mean of empowerment. In my opinion, AB’s repeated phrase was a protective mechanism used to provide a way for May Mobley to survive the lasting, and potentially, detrimental effects of being raised by a mother who easily lacked care and concern for her growth and development. It was a reassuring moment in the movie, which was introduced right before AB permanently freed herself from her role as the help (or “maid/nanny”) to May Mobley and her mother.
But, is it that simple?
Can a few repeated words, phrases, points of affirmation keep you from being enslaved by the effects of your upbringing, fears, insecurities, or even your own imprisoned mindset?
“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” - Proverbs 18:21 New International Version
We have the power to speak life into situations where death may reside.
So, be careful. The more we allow negativity in the form of internal or external words, thoughts, etc. to grab ahold of our reality, the more likely it is to become our truth. Therefore, if you allow positivity to instead grab ahold of your reality, you will reap the benefits of its succulent fruit drenched in positivity.
But, do we believe it? Do we believe we have the power to escape death and experience the fullness of life, despite what others or we may think of us, by simply speaking life into every situation?
I struggle with this belief. I do because I was raised to be a strong black woman and vulnerability does not come easy to me. So, the mere act of having to acknowledge the fact that I struggle entirely too much with other persons’ thoughts and opinions of me screams, “you are weak.” Therefore, I sometimes find myself perplexed by the truth of who God says I am because I continuously juxtapose His divine perception of me with the presumption of how I believe others perceive of me.
Have you ever found yourself challenged with asserting a liberating mindset or spirit into circumstances that wreak fear, shame and insecurities?
Have you ever found yourself wondering if the negative thing people said or are saying about you is true?
Your life says, “you are free,” but you believe the thoughts or words that say, “you are bound.” Your life says, “you are beautiful,” but you believe the thoughts or words that say, “you are ugly.” Your life says, “you are valuable,” but you believe the thoughts or words that say, “you have no worth.” Your life says, “you are living,” but you believe the thoughts or words that say, “you are on the brink of death.” Your life says, “you can do it,” but you believe the thoughts or words that say, “you do not have what it takes.” Etc. …
If you answered yes to one or more of the questions above, I politely request that you consider F.A.C.T. checking every negative thought or word said about you moving forward.
Find the root of its impact. I have learned that before I allow emotions to consume me, I first must ask myself: “why do these words or thoughts affect me?” John 8:32 says, “then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Freedom comes at the expense of exposing the truth. It may be a painstaking process; however, disciplining yourself to find the root of the offense first before giving the oppressor (whether in the form of a person or thought) the power to hold you in bondage leads to true liberation.
Ask the Lord for clarity, immediately. We ought to involve the Holy Spirit in every way possible. There is no help like the divine intervention of the One who created us and empowers us to be free. Incept a conversation with the Lord asking for His clarity, perspective, response, and anything else beneficial to resolving the offense at hand. His guidance and our obedience will deaden the pursuit of negativity and instead, provide opportunities for us to live and breath our truth.
Close the door to negativity. Do not make room for negativity to reside within you. Close the door instantly when negativity knocks, but always do it with love and grace. I find that it is easy to deal with the realities of what people may think (and/or perceive) of me when I greet their negativity with positivity. For example, now when I get offended or think a negative thought, I do my best to make a mesne with the offense by loving on the individual who hurt me (even if it is my own thoughts coming against me). A lot of times I identify the offense towards me as a way of making me aware that they or I need and desire more love. As persons of wisdom have told me several times, “hurt people hurt people” so who better to extend love to someone who hurts me than someone who has experienced the unwarranted love of God?
Tell and live your truth. Aibileen Clark from the movie, “The Help,” said it best:
“God says we need to love our enemies. It’s hard to do, but we can start by telling the truth. No one had ever asked me what it felt like to be me; once I told the truth about that, I felt free.”
Go confidently in knowing that living and telling your truth has power. Speak truth. Believe truth. Then exercise your power to speak life into EVERY dead situation, no matter how challenging it may be to do so.
Your freedom awaits you…
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