As I sit here preparing to write this post, I find myself reflecting on the 4th of July, our nation’s Independence Day. This year I was scheduled to work. I missed the gathering of family and friends, the laughs around the barbecue pit, the parade and fireworks. Then, I had a thought. Why do we celebrate our Independence on just one day? Independence, or freedom, is worthy of daily celebration and should be noted in every aspect of our lives.
Everyday I am fighting for my independence and freedom. Each day that I am successful in my fight for financial, emotional, and relational independence, is a cause for celebration. Daily recognition of winning in the war for independence and freedom motivates me to do more. I need to insure it stays intact.
Living in America, the land of the free, really means something. So often it becomes easy to take freedom for granted.
Having the freedom to choose the life we want is what many people in other countries aspire too. Because our country is so great a border parole is required to stem the illegal intrusion of migrants.
Getting across the border, even at the risks of deportation, is a choice that many are willing to take. Some endure the hardship of illegally entry. Others use every cent they have for the chance of being independent and free. Why is it that the people who are here, you and I, allow ourselves to be blind to the many advantages that America has to offer that can eliminate the suffering of others not as fortunate?
I am fighting for financial freedom, but I work everyday. I get a check every two weeks.
Financial independence is not about how much you make. Its about what you do with what you make.
Here’s a thought, how about becoming more financially responsible? As a result true freedom will come.
Another benefit of financial freedom is an action step. If you don’t have a budget plan establish one and establish a goal for financial independence. Then you will discover the joy of financial freedom.
Are you the captain of your own ship? Are you making decisions that make you happy?
Life is filled with mountains and valleys; however, if you find yourself living in the valley and never going up a mountain, stop and ask yourself why? Sheila and I are sounding partners and when one of us get stuck the other will say “let’s pull the thread on this”. That means “let’s really get to the root of this problem.”
Emotional independence requires hard work. Coupled with hard work, emotional independence also requires accepting that nothing stays the same.
People change. Jobs change. The only guarantee in life is that life will change.
Finding emotional freedom is finding that thing or person that keeps you grounded. For some, it is a spiritual connection. For others, it is a loving bond with another individual. It could also be in a practice such as prayer, meditation, yoga or walks in nature. Take the time to find out what will make you emotionally independent, then, practice and believe in it. This repeated behavior done daily will help you find your freedom. Remember small changes done over time is what makes the difference.
Remembering when I was younger, all I wanted was to be out on my own. I wanted to make my own decision, have my own place, drive my own car. That was the presumed joy of being young and naive.
Why do we believe that relational independence is doing it all on your own? When Jesus was on the cross he look down and said to his mother “ here is your son” to his disciple, and to John he said “here is your mother” John 19: 26,27. Christ who preached trust and belief in God knew here on earth we would need someone for the many trials and tribulation we would face in life.
Relational independence or freedom does not necessarily mean separation. An attitude that accepts, loves and values everyone for similarities and differences. You are free to be you but it requires you to allow others to be themselves. The self-actualized person celebrates opportunities to learn from others–and affords the same opportunity to let others learn from you.
The next 365 days
As a result of this reflection, I am going to practice “Independence” all year round”. I am going to actively seek ways to express my independence and at the same time stay authentic. The true definition of Independence is the power and the obligation to act, speak, and think as one wants without hindrance or restraint. I know this act will begin to remove my negative thoughts and/or actions that imprison, enslave and take away my real freedom.
I encourage you to take a look in the mirror and ask yourself, “what areas in my life am I still enslaved?” “Where can I practice more independence?” and, “Where will I be 365 days from now if I change one thing.”
Be Independent, Be Free
Roxanne Wilkening MS. Ed