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Living free from obligation

Carrie Smith

Photo by Carrie Smith

When was the last time you said yes to something that you regretted?

When was the last time you said no, knowing that it was good for you?

Obligation is the worst reason for making a commitment to someone or something.

When we feel manipulated, obliged, forced into our decision making, the long term affects of this small moment can be far reaching.

We stay in jobs because of loyalty, we say yes to holidays with people that we knew never would work, we go to events because we should, rather than we want to.


Our whole society is over frustrated by the obligations we stick to and keep, when we really should have said no.

At the beginning of the inspire 15 retreat, we started this way.

You, don’t have to come to anything. Everything is optional.


This is actually the truth, yet we try so desperately to force adults into program shaped boxes, to try and make ourselves feel more secure.

Security does not come from the amount of people at your events.

Security does not come from the amount of followers you have.

Security comes from places like our faith, our family, our friends, our homes and our identity framed by grace.

“Relationships based on obligation lack dignity.”

Wayne Dyer

In fact when we make people feel completely free to make their own choices, they are more likely to respond with gratitude to the opportunities available.

What do you feel obliged to do?

Freedom comes sweeping into our days, when we realise that the obligations we have been carrying around heavily, really don’t have to crowd us in any longer.

Making choices,

Bringing strength,

Letting our yes be yes,

And our no be no,

Can be the most liberating experience.

She designed a life that she loved…

What makes you feel obliged?

Comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts…


6 thoughts on “Living free from obligation

  1. I loved your totally option approach to the retreat, it was so freeing, I thought I’d attend everything, I’d planned it for weeks, but then at the end of the first day I felt God laying so much on my heart and speaking to me and confirming things with me I’d been waiting on him that instead of G&G i went and allowed that to all sink in, reflect, listen, pray and plan. Perhaps I wouldn’t have done that if not for the approach you took, I am always one who supports my feet and my presence, but actually it was right to not this weekend, God did more with me in that little 45 minutes than any elective could have.
    I so loved the comment from Brene Brown about “there needs to be a compelling reason for everything you do”, I am so going to take that away with me and reflect on what that means to me.
    God is gifting my life back, and in that space I’m treasuring all the little things that I used to, and I’ve realised just how deeply they mean everything to me. Such a great post. Cxxx

    1. Carol, You are honestly one of the most amazing people I have ever met. Someone who is so detailed yet so responsive to the moment and also so full of humility. I honestly could not have done the weekend without you. Absolute truth. Thanks for partnering with us. So grateful. Now its our turn for a retreat together just us. Yes!

  2. This is brilliant, i love it. From a church background where leadership was the ultimate and you were only someone if you were leading- this is deliciously releasing…and refreshingly true. Where there is grace, there is freedom….thankyou.

    1. Where is the grace, where is the freedom.

      Finding a life free of obligation is the funniest thing it releases you to actually do the things you absolutely love and want to do.

      It is a funny thing.

      Thanks for writing to me.

  3. So true Amanda. Obligation is the biggest passion/creativity killer for me! I guess it’s entwined with setting boundaries which isn’t fun, but definitely empowering. I can feel such a sense of anxiety when the obligations build up and it’s difficult to choose healthy boundaries from.that place, instead of just reacting. I’m finding boundaries to be my way around it though, for example, I’ve limited the amount of night meetings I go to during the week, this has made a huge difference already! Thanks again for your post xxx

    1. That is so so so good. Saying yes and saying no can literally change our lives.

      We don’t have to do everything.

      In fact when we don’t we allow others to have a go.

      Thanks for writing here, I love your thoughts and they have got me thinking.

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