By Barbara H. Peterson

As I sit here at the keyboard and look out at my horses grazing, I can’t help but think of the difference between how I thought several years ago and how I think now. There is a huge divide between how you think when you have all of your needs and most of your wants taken care of because you have enough money to cover it all, and when you don’t. When the money goes, your way of life and way of thinking change dramatically. 

You learn to find different ways to do the things you want to do, or simply stop doing them. You learn to budget to the last penny because there is no backup funding source. You find the least expensive and most efficient way to survive or go without many essentials. In other words, you change.

As hard as it is, you do it – for better or worse. There is no stopping change or way of resisting it, only the opportunity to embrace it and choose how you will walk that course of change. Will you choose to see the path as a challenge and learn to surmount boulders, or will you choose to lie down, give up and just let it all go to hell?

The first choice leads to freedom, the second to slavery. Either way, the choice must be made minute by minute, day by day. And life is never quite the same after each passing choice. For with each choice we make, we are further down the path to either freedom or slavery.

So when all is crashing in, and it looks like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, and we feel totally out of control, what is left? Our thoughts. We can control our thoughts. Thoughts are intangible, yet real none-the-less. They guide and direct our actions. We steer the course of our existence and how we deal with circumstances by our thoughts and actions. We change.

We choose to fight and protect our integrity by doing what is right. We dig in and plant our Freedom Gardens. We choose to confront our lifestyles and get rid of the garbage. We choose to get as close as we can to self-sufficiency by learning to do things by hand. We barter with our neighbors for goods and services. We don’t let the neighborhood gossip bother us. We simply keep on placing one foot in front of the other with every choice we make, and walk the path to freedom.

What we don’t do is slip into denial, and allow others to choose for us how we will think and what we will do. We don’t just give up and give in. We don’t go quietly into that FEMA camp awaiting us. WE CHANGE.

©2010 Barbara H. Peterson