Finding freedom is one of the most difficult journeys any of us can make during our lifetime. It’s the journey to becoming our authentic self, the person God intended us to be, not the person others want, need, or expect us to be. The journey toward freedom can be so daunting at times that few, if any, of us actually strike out down the path to eschewing society’s labels and in carving out a sovereign identity for ourselves. Even if we do strike out, many of us turn back, deciding that the journey is too difficult or not worth the effort.
When we’re younger, especially, most of us strive hard to fit into the “in crowd,” to be popular and liked by our peers. We strive even harder to be liked by our family members, our parents especially, who are often some of our biggest critics. We aim to please our family members and friends to maintain a relationship with them, often at the cost of our sovereignty and peace of mind.
Our parents, especially, are supposed to help shape and mold us into responsible, healthy-minded adults, but not all parents know how to balance their parental responsibilities with our need to blaze our own path through life. Often times, the result is that children and young adults end up chasing their parents’ dreams of who they should be versus following the path which calls from their soul.
I know that I experienced this in my own, as I wanted to pursue a career as a journalist. When I broached the subject with my father shortly before entering college, he told that I would never make any money as a journalist, so I should pursue a career as a lawyer instead. So that’s what I did … I went to law school and became highly successful as a lawyer. But despite my quick and very successful rise up the legal ladder, I burned out because a career in law is not what ultimately called from my soul.
So today, at the age of 53, I’m finally pursuing the path which calls from my soul by creating Tone Rising and selling inspiring merchandise which is something I’ve wanted to do for years. It’s something I attempted to pursue shortly before 9/11 occurred, but then stepped back out of financial fear, thereby putting my dreams on the back burner for many, many years.
If you have a dream you wish to pursue, please don’t wait years to pursue it like I did. Time passes by in the blink of an eye and the older we get, the harder it becomes to step outside our comfort and take a leap of faith toward freedom.
But if you do find that bravery to leap, well, the sense of freedom you will once you do will make that leap worth every bit of effort. Don’t worry about being popular with others; worry about pleasing yourself, first and foremost.
Love and blessings always, Nikki Karis … xo