Charlotte A. Tomaino
March 2016: Release, forgive, disengage or retire from the aspects of the past that are complete. Proclaim Liberty to Self and Others.
What is it to Proclaim Liberty? When have I done it or seen it done? What does it mean in our lives today? We do not own slaves to liberate as in the Jubilee days of the bible. But, we do still become enslaved to habits, addictions, relationships and responsibilities. What is the difference between habits, relationships and responsibilities that are life-giving and those that are enslaving? How do we recognize that which was once life-giving but is now no longer? When we recognize this shift has happened, what can we do about it?
Proclaiming Liberty to Self and Others requires letting go of anything that holds you back, diminishes or drains you. Three main categories which capture this experience include relationships that are no longer life-giving, commitments and responsibilities that are no longer fruitful and perceptions of the world which trigger thoughts, emotions and behavior that is not fulfilling for your physical, emotional and social wellness.
In the past 50 years there have been numerous people, opportunities and even emotions and behaviors that triggered curiosity, opportunity or an attractive challenge. Over time the discovery or mastery is eventually fulfilled and the purpose for the original engagement is completed. Feelings of boredom or burden, reluctance and resistance are signaling the transition time for beginning to let go. When we recognize these signs in ourselves and others, children become strong and independent, students learn from us and use our knowledge in new ways, friendships and partnerships grow, organizations expand creatively and become more effective.
The never ending cycle of attraction, discovery, mastery and completion will always be with us, but as we age, will we continue to recognize those inspiring, life-giving opportunities of new, exciting friends, fresh insights or places to have an impact? Many people get comfortable in routine and wonder where the magic went and why the former joy and excitement about life escapes them. Getting comfortable can be a great relief in contrast to the prime years of peak discovery and activity but that familiar routine can also lead to shouldering burdens and staying too long in a position that then limits growth for everyone.
Detachment is a word that often comes to mind here. For some it represents a transitional process. The initial excitement of something new and engaging leading to discovery or accomplishment of the goal is then followed by a phase of satisfaction and then detachment from the outcome, moving on to the next interest and source of growth.
Our April Reflection will be focusing on ‘Harvesting the Wisdom of Your Life’ thus far. To identify those core achievements in the inner and outer world and later this year look at ‘Telling a New Story’, we start with separating the wheat from the chaff for today. Taking action in the outer world to clean out a closet also frees us in the inner world to have space for the life that is still coming and be aware of the signs calling you forward.
So, how do you want to Proclaim Liberty to yourself and others? We cannot continue to take responsibility for everything we have once embraced and taken on. How do you move through this Jubilee opportunity with grace? How can you foster the expansion of others by passing on opportunity?
What are you ready to Release?
Who are you ready to Forgive?
Where are you ready to Disengage?
When will you be ready to Retire?
The following links are four Reflections on Release, Forgiveness, Disengagement and Retirement. You may already be aware of specific aspects of your life that are ‘Calling for Liberty’. Select one of the following reflections that appeals to you. If something does not come to mind, go back to the Jubilee Inventory and see what speaks to you today from the big picture of the past fifty years.