We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it. ~William Faulkner
In the U.S. we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence. For many of us, the significance of this day may be more about time off from work, picnics and fireworks. As Sherry (my wife) and I were talking about Independence Day, we were reflecting on what this day could mean to us in a more personal way.
The signatories of the Declaration of Independence were letting the monarch of England know that they were no longer under his rule. They were setting out the terms t they were embracing for this independence. They were putting this lives on the line to stand for what was right and just to them.
Am I ready to declare my independence? What is it that I will be independent from? This question wasn’t one that I considered before today. What am I dependent on that is not supportive of my purpose and values? Oh, I thought, “that’s a good question.” Immediately I could feel a range of limitations that I automatically respond with in certain situations. What is causing these responses?
Simply said, it is beliefs that I have. These beliefs are mostly someone else’s belief that I chose as my own without consideration. So I am allowing my life to be experienced through the beliefs of others. For instance, when I was growing up, I heard a lot the admonition, “Be careful, you might get hurt.” Sometimes the concern that drove this caution was because I was clearly in harms way. Mostly though, it was a fear the adult had that was not based on fact, but on some belief they had about that situation. Like, “don’t pet that dog, it might bite you.” So I accepted their fear of dogs and was afraid myself. It goes on and on.
What do you declare your independence from today?