I woke up this morning acutely aware of the amazing freedom and abundance I have.
I could choose to lie in my bed as long as I want on this work-free morning, get up and brush my teeth with clean water running through a faucet in one of my bathrooms (while in a third of our world one bathroom is a luxury), fill my teapot to make a cup of tea and put it on a cooktop that is there, at the ready for me to use whenever I want, then sit at my desk and write—without censorship—the thoughts that are on my mind.
Today, we celebrate our country’s signing of The Declaration of Independence from the United Kingdom. In spite of all that I’ve read and been taught, it’s tough to truly wrap my arms around how it must feel to live without freedom, or to not have independence. In my humanness, I take so much for granted.
Those of us who live in places with political freedom, or are not being held against our will, often choose to give up our independence, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re not free. When we’re children we’re dependent on adults for survival, but we are nonetheless free. We are dependent on the laws of nature and the laws of God, but we are still free.
So, where, when and what, in your life, do you need to feel free and experience independence?
Where, in your life, do you need to be liberated?
When are you voluntarily handing over your reigns of freedom?
What are you doing that feels as if you’re obligated to do it, instead of choosing to do it?
Where, in your life, do you feel like you’re being controlled?
When are you shoving back your opinions in favor of another’s?
What makes you forget who you are, and give your personal power to someone else?
It’s important to realize that:
We give up part of ourselves when we choose the victim role—when we start each thought with “poor me” or “it’s not my fault, I’m powerless”.
We sometimes give others the authority to control us because it’s easier than taking full responsibility for our own lives.
We do not need to be powerless in order for another to feel powerful.
It’s easy to get trapped in lifestyles that feel “dependent” on an awful lot of other mere mortals. Create a reality that reflects who you are on a core level, rather than rolling over to the pressures of this is how you’re supposed to live (or dress or spend your time). Sometimes in order to feel “accepted” we think we have to acquiesce to what others want. We believe that our independent thinking might not resonate with what “they” think, so gaining approval becomes more important than being independent.
Many of us have had an “Independence Day.”
Many of us desperately need an “Independence Day”.
Who do you need to give independence to?
Who do you need independence from?
So, name what you want—what true freedom and independence would look like to you. It takes courage to “buck the system”; to stand up for what we believe in; to stick up for ourselves and be heard. It often seems easier to take the back seat and let someone else steer our lives. But, at what cost?
We have freedom of choice—something that millions of people can’t even imagine—yet we squander it. So many people are overwhelmed, or sad, or frustrated in a country where most of us have no idea what it’s like to truly be without/do without/live without. How sad.
Samuel Adams, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America said, “It does not take a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brush fires of freedom in the minds of men.” What brush fires of personal freedom must you set in your mind?
Like a beautiful bird, trapped in a cage, singing only for the mistress of the house, we sometimes lose our ability to be heard. You have opinions. You have value. Open the door to that cage (no matter how gilded it is) and fly unfettered, singing your song of freedom.