reflections

a declaration of independence

It’s Independence Day today, but really, Independence Day is any day we decide we’re ready for freedom.

Foreign monarchy isn’t so much a problem for most of us, it’s the Soul Dictators, things like Fear or Anger that start small and seem reasonable enough and then suddenly you’re paying a high price to keep that Dictator in its place. There’s a high tax of joy and love and peace and we pay it because they say we have to, they say that they have our best interest in mind.

But they are liars. The Fear and Blame and Anger and Expectations, they are liars. They suck out the good parts of life and they do it because we let them.

For me, my Dictator has been Desire, a desire that is neither good or bad, it just is. It has given me dreams and hope, but lately it has been less kind. In our current arrangement, this Desire has put strain on some of my most treasured relationships. It’s bred discontent; all I see is what I don’t have, not what I do. It keeps me from engaging in the joy of the present; the future, it says, is where the good stuff will be.

And this is too high a tax on my soul.

The Desire isn’t wrong or bad, but it’s not serving me well anymore. I want this Desire, but even more, I want freedom. I want love. I want gratitude and I want joy in the present. And we get to declare freedom from allegiances that use us and keep us from the life we want, the life we were made for.

So today was Independence Day for me. I cut my ties to this Desire. I am not declaring war on it — it is what it is — but I’m just declaring my freedom. I’m declaring that I’m not paying the price for its well-being anymore.

What is driving you? What is bossing you around? What Soul Dictator are you allowing to hurt you and the people you love most?

Maybe it is Regret or Fear. Or maybe Blame or Judgement or Anger. Maybe you are driven by a need to Prove Yourself or to Be Loved or to Get it Right. Maybe you are slave to a Label, one you gave yourself or one someone else gave you, and it’s not serving you well anymore. Maybe Expectations are your Dictator, whether they’re from others or yourself.

Today is Independence Day. You get to be as free as you want to be, but like our forefathers, you have to declare it. You have to want it and you have to say so. You have to name what is oppressing you and look it in the eye and say, “You are not the boss of me!” And even then, you might have to fight for it, insist on it with action, for a long time, maybe even years.

Freedom is mine, freedom is yours. Happy Independence Day.

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