Giving Makes Us Free

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Giving things away as gifts is the way to true freedom.

A child who has taken ownership of a box of cookies is enslaved by them. The cookies require that the child either protect them or eat them, or else they will soon be under new ownership. They cause the child to worry, “I must guard these cookies because they belong to me.”

But if the child gives the cookies away, he no longer needs to protect them. The handcuff is removed. The worry vanishes.

Whatever we have – clothes, food, money, talents, presence, ideas, time – giving it away releases its handcuffs from our wrists.

Cultivate Gratitude

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“When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.”

– G.K. Chesterton

Think back to a day when nothing seemed to go your way. Maybe you were supposed to get a raise at work, and instead your boss just handed you another lousy assignment with a tight deadline. Maybe you had been fighting with your family. Maybe you just lost a close friend. Your mind spent a lot of time thinking about its trouble at first because it wanted to find a solution. It wanted to make things better.

Now imagine being able to stop your mind from thinking about the bad things, and just shift it to thinking about the good. When you are upset about something, shifting your focus is not easy at first. But by cultivating gratitude, it becomes easy not only to stop thinking about the negative, but also to see the positive. Continue reading