Today we are celebrating the birth-day of the concept of freedom in the “land of the free.” While I have many thoughts on this, I decided to focus today on what happens if you lose your freedom. Or, rephrased as a question – Are you free?

Losing freedom comes in different forms, not only when one is chained or locked up behind closed doors. While we can be physically free, we might still be trapped in our minds and spirits.

Freedom starts within you and your relationship with your own thoughts and internal conversations. Many of us are limited by our own fears, doubts, and insecurities.

Viktor Frankl, a holocaust survivor of Auschwitz’s camp, wrote in his classic book,  “Man’s Search for Meaning” – “In some ways, suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice….Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.”

The heavy weight of these words finds more meaning when you think of the man who wrote them and under what circumstances. A man who lost his whole family and loved ones, a man who’s life turned unbearable, beyond our ability to fathom what he suffered through, finds light and meaning in a kind of extreme darkness. I use this book as a reminder to myself to be grateful for all I have and for all I don’t have to suffer through. And frankly, also for what I had to suffer through because it made me stronger and wiser.

Freedom should never be taken for granted. It is a precious gift that we should protect. You will know how much you cherish it only if you lost it, even for a moment.

We should never let anyone or anything take away our freedom, not even ourselves.

No one is immune to losing all they have. The only thing that can’t be taken away from you is what you know.

Practicing self defense, in my view, is not accepting the chance that someone might take my freedom. This won’t happen without a fight.

True freedom is not about being perfect. It is about accepting ourselves for who we are, our flaws, and our talents. No one is perfect, we all accept this idea as a concept and forgive others for not being perfect, but not often do we forgive ourselves for it. When we try to be perfect, we are setting ourselves up for failure. In this, we are constantly setting the bar too high and finding ourselves lacking—another reason for feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, and depression— it’s all self-inflicted.

But freedom is not about being happy all the time. It is about experiencing a full range of emotions, both positive and negative. There will be times when we feel sad, angry, scared, or frustrated. These are all normal emotions, and they are part of the human experience.

When we try to suppress our negative emotions, we are not being true to ourselves. We are denying ourselves an important part of our humanity. We are also setting ourselves up for problems in the future. If we bottle up our emotions, they will eventually come out in unhealthy ways, such as through anger outbursts, anxiety attacks, or depression.

When we can allow ourselves to experience our emotions, we can learn from them. We can learn how to manage them in healthy ways. We can also learn how to use our emotions to our advantage. For example, anger can be used to motivate us to take action, sadness can help us to connect with others, and fear can help us to stay safe.

We all have things that we want. We may want a new car, a bigger house, or a more successful career. But these things do not bring us true freedom. In fact, they can often lead to more stress and anxiety. When we are constantly striving for more, we are never satisfied. We are always looking for the next big thing. This can lead to a never-ending cycle of wanting and never having.

True freedom is about being able to experience our emotions fully and authentically. It is about being able to live our lives without suppressing or denying any part of ourselves. It is about being able to embrace all of who we are, both the good and the bad. It is about being content with what we have and being grateful for the good things in our lives.

True freedom comes from within. It comes from being content with what we have and being grateful for the good things in our lives. It comes from appreciating the simple things, such as a beautiful sunset, a warm hug, or a friend’s smile.

We can all find freedom in our own way. I found my freedom through teaching and practicing Krav Maga. Others find it through other kinds of arts or activities. No matter how we find it, freedom is a journey, not a destination, but it’s a way of being. You know you got there only when you let go of all self-inflicted limitations.

You will never be truly free unless you are free from your own self-persecution. It is not easy, but it is possible. It takes courage, determination, and self-awareness. But it is worth it. Because when we are truly free, we are truly alive.

To live life authentically, we must be willing to pay the price of judgment and rejection. Living free isn’t free. The price tag is high, but so is the reward.

The only way to truly be free is to break free from the limitations of our minds. We need to learn to think for ourselves, even if it means “swimming against the stream.” We should not fear criticism but rather use it as an opportunity to grow and learn. When we make our own choices, we learn to take responsibility for the consequences, both good and bad.

From time to time, we must be willing to confront our fears and challenge the beliefs that have led us to places we regret. This is not always easy, but it is essential if we want to live our lives to the fullest.

Happy Fourth of July.

Do something amazing,

Tsahi Shemesh
Founder & CEO
Krav Maga Experts