The Fourth of July holiday in the US always brings to my mind thoughts about freedom. As often tends to happen, my mind tends to connect the dots around those concepts in the big sense of the world and how it applies to us as individuals. Declaration of Independence.  Freedom from persecution. Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

But often, we find ourselves imprisoned.

A quest for independence finds us imprisoned by the trappings of living: overbooked schedules, mountains of laundry, and the need to always seem perfect and in control.

And freedom?  Darling, the persecution is an incessant buzz in our heads – an ongoing argument between our core self, our inner critic, and that lizard brain of ours that’s trying to keep things the same, even if “the same” sucks.

The pursuit of happiness can sometimes be a quest for looking like we’re cool  and having a picture-perfect life (at least within the confines of our digital identity), when behind closed doors, we are exhausted and hanging on by a thread.

In honor of Independence Day, let’s declare our independence from perfection and being in control.

Let’s declare freedom in the form of more time to rest and think and play instead of scheduling ourselves from sunrise to midnight.

Let’s release the physical clutter that’s distracting us from living and the mental clutter that’s keeping us imprisoned.

Let’s pursue what makes us  really happy instead of what we think happiness should look like according to others.

Let’s find sweet freedom in surrender and vulnerability instead of needing to be in control and always strong.

Let us cling to the ideals of true freedom from within.  Let us offer ourselves compassion and a modicum of grace.

Let us break the chains we’ve put around our own lives by breaking the rules that no longer apply to how we desire to live.

Baby, let’s stop worshiping at that altar of busy and allow ourselves to feel. Let us embrace freedom by stepping away from anger and fear, and  toward joy, compassion, and love.

Let us befriend our inner critic and ask ourselves thoughtful questions around what it would mean to create a life we love based on our terms.

Let us set away our egos and reach out for help so that we can experience personal liberty.

Let us create our own definition of  what a personal freedom and independence means.

Let us declare that the from this moment forward, we will be engaged in the living of our lives instead of simply existing.

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