Personal Freedom

Today’s topic is wide and deep. We could get into all the different nooks and crannies of freedom.

What I want to focus on is personal freedom. What is personal freedom? I would posit that this freedom is the ability to do what you want or the freedom to chose. I know that I really enjoy doing my favorite things; watching movies, going to church, hiking with the kids, taking a nice fall drive. I also enjoy things like taking the family out to dinner or ice cream. I enjoy my health and church activity. As a Christian that strives to live the tenants of my faith; I have become free from addiction. I have become free to participate in my faiths most sacred ordinances and live my faith without embarrassment or shame.

Heavenly Father's Plan vs Satan's Plan

A Plan for Happiness

As a kid, when this lesson was first taught, I didn’t really get the concepts taught in the lesson and chart from the Latter-day Saint Family Home Evening manual. As I got older, and gained experience I started to understand. When I was a young man, I came across this chart again and it has stuck with me since then.  If I wanted to be happy in life and be free from some conditions that come from bad choices I would have to chose not to do somethings.

I realized that if I wanted the maximum control of my life, I needed to avoid some things. That meant not trying certain substances, like alcohol and drugs. I also avoided parties and other activities where those things would most likely be during my high school years. One of the things I saw in high school, there were two kids in my school that were dealing/taking drugs and one ended up in being sent State-side by himself; and the second kids activities got his father demoted and the family was sent State-side and the father had to stay in country. I didn’t like that my actions could impact my family that way and that was another reason to keep my nose clean.

The other thing I learned as a teenager is that if I made good choices my parents and other adults would trust me and I would be given more freedom. I feel my parents did a great job in treating and interacting with us based on our integrity. My brother, Rob, always seemed to have the most freedom because he always acted with integrity and was probably the most obedient son my parents raised. It wasn’t until I was 21 that my parents started treating my like an adult … the truth is it took me that long to start acting like one.

Now, I am trying to teach my kids some of those same lessons. Being active in a church just isn’t enough; parents have to be actively engaged in their kids lives. We try to spend our evenings and weekends with the boys and doing things they like to do. It means that we can have some pretty busy weeks. It also means that they know I am not perfect and that sometimes I make a wrong choice. We want them to  learn and gain experience so that they will be prepared to face the world and navigate it as men.

Note: There are 2 types of personal freedom and they are called Freedom From and Freedom To (OR Negative Freedom and Positive Freedom). For a very good in-depth description you can check out The Art of Manliness post.

iron wil

Warm Weather, Outboors, and Eating

This has to be the 4th time I have tried to write this post.  I have been doing several things that keep derailing me.

I have posted before about my addiction to food and the trouble I have had.  I want to also talk about some success.  I have come down 1.5 pant sizes and am still moving down in my waist size.  I am not working out in any way, until this last Saturday when I started yoga again.  I am eating much healthier over all; but I still enjoy the treats or deserts that are my favorites.

I have to admit that I am amazed that 2 changes I have made in the last year have made the biggest difference for me.  The first is eating 6 to 8 meals a day.  I say meals, but you could say 3 meals with healthier portions and then snacks like a piece of fruit, a handful of crackers, sometimes snickers bar.  It depends on what I have at hand.  The second is keeping fruit about a half-hour from other foods.

It has been an amazing journey over these last 7 years. I still fight the temptation to eat a pound of M&Ms, but the point is I fight it.  I hope to finish this year by coming off the medication that I am on.  I have a second objective for improving my health and that is getting my bike fixed and starting to ride it.  It also means that I will have to buy a tow behind for the boys.

Now that the weather is warming up I hope to spend more time outside with the boys, whether it is around the yard or on the canal.  I want to get them interested in the outdoors, mostly because I had a love for it once.  I want to rekindle that love and at least take up hiking and I think mountain biking.  Maybe the wife will get a bike and join us boys.

iron wil

2 Steps Forward . . . 1 Step Back

Tuesday morning, I got up for work & like usual headed into the bathroom for a shower & randomly, I got on the scale.  The scale usually looks at me with disdain and says, “Err”.

This morning it smiled and told me that I was now 325lbs.  I liked that, I like that a lot, now I will find out what my Dr’s scale says tomorrow.

I am making some progress, you would not have been able to tell by the way I munched chips at the Mexican restaurant we ate at; nor, by the way I shoveled ice cream into my gullet after we got home.  Don’t worry, I am paying for it today.

No, it wasn’t worth it.  A lesson, I hope to remember next time around.

wil becker
2009.04.02

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