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Want to be free? Be the Shepherd of your thoughts

2lucyMandela-600Dear Lucy: It's the 4th of July already and when I think about freedom, all I want is to be debt free. I know I'm not the only one who wants this. Sure, I live in America, home of the brave, land of the free. But I'm not feeling it.

– Looking for my freedom

Dear Freedom Hunter: Happy Fourth of July. I feel you. Debt can be overwhelming and it is relative. Owing anything at all to anybody can be devastating for some people, even if they have money. Owing more than you earn can also be tough. Or just living on the financial edge all the time can make for a scary life. When this happens, feelings of bravery and freedom are hard to get to.

LucyShaw-160Freedom is an interesting concept. Most of the time we think about it from the angle of needing to escape something. Most of the time we want to escape the negative experience and limitations of not having enough money or having to talk to the bill collector. What we want to escape most is the negative feelings that come with the experience and weigh us down.

So first, decide if you want to experience freedom as a verb or a noun. If you experience freedom as a verb you will be running to find it or be chased into it by the tyranny of circumstances. If freedom is a noun, you get to BE free instantly.

Two: choosing freedom as a noun reminds me of Mr. Nelson Mandela when he was in prison. He understood that his thoughts could not be imprisoned, only his body. So he used his thoughts to imagine the prison experience that he could survive. That meant the real Mr. Mandela, the one with integrity, forgiveness, generosity of spirit and determination was still present. He was rich at the level of his thinking power. So are you.

Three: Jesus said that He was the Good Shepherd and His sheep always know him. The sheep are your thoughts and you are the Good Shepherd of them. I could give you a list of ways to get out of debt and they would all be useless. The first step out of any negative situation is to bring your thinking, your imagination under control. As long as you spend your thinking and efforts on escaping to freedom you are thinking like a slave and giving your power away.

Four: Let go of the idea of escaping your debt. In your thinking and imaging, BE a person of wealth. A person of wealth surrounds himself with ideas and methods to be wealthy. They are always talking, reading, noticing and doing things that affirm that it is their right to be abundantly supplied. If they are running, they are running TO something and not away from something.

Five: Change your mind. Change your point of view. Pay attention to what you are spending the currency of your thinking on. If you spend your thoughts on being poor, in bondage to debt and a victim, this is what you will get.

This is the first step into freedom no matter what you think you are in bondage to. Don't run from. Run to. Jacob wrestled all night with the angel of doubt and fear until he got the victory over him. He held on until he won the struggle against all of those negative thoughts he had been carrying around for decades. Sure, he was left with an injury from the battle. But it was so worth it and a reminder to him of the past power of doubt and fear over his life. Once you taste the sweetness of a changed mind, you can't go back. Accept that you are already free and become the Good Shepherd.

(Check out Lucy Shaw's website at http://www.heartworks4u.com. You may send your questions to her by U.S. mail to: Heartworks4U, LLC; 4646 Poplar Ave. Ste 201, Memphis, TN 38117 or by e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .)

(For help with the feelings that get in the way of prayer and peace of mind, get Lucy's new book, "BE NOT ANXIOUS." Order it directly from her at 901-907-0260 or go to her web site www.heartworks4u.com.)

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