AND Celebrate Independence

June 29th, 2014

In thinking about the upcoming Independence Day celebrations in the US and reflecting on a recent trip to Holland during World Cup festivities, I am struck by the promise and gift of independence. Flag waving and dressing in the colors of the country team during World Cup games reflect the gift of freedom to identify with something bigger than ourselves, something we share with others. AND in these times, I also find myself acutely aware of countries where such independence is currently unattainable.

The gift of independence, whether for a country or individual person, promises the opportunity to clarify who we want to be, what we will stand for, and how we will treat one another. The promise of independence, whether from parents, tyrannical rule, or imposed power, is that we are free to be the best of who we are born to be. If we go even deeper, our individual life journeys invite us to liberate ourselves from self-imposed criticisms, judgments, guilt, and myriad other voices in our heads in order to live more consciously from the wisdom of our hearts.

Our free choice to root for our favorite teams extends to all others in a similar situation. There is room in this world to create healthy interactions and relations based on freedom to be and choose what we will bring to the relationship and what we want back, when we respect the freedom and independence of each other. Our unique cultural, familial, and individual identities create a fascinating world where, if open, we can not only learn from our differences; we can also enrich our lives and the lives of others by respecting our individual and collective independence.

As we celebrate our freedoms, may we also be aware of others not currently living in conditions where they have the independence that we celebrate. The ability to create a healthy planet where the beautiful voices of people can offer their unique wisdom and insights requires that we recognize and celebrate one another’s independence to create new and healthier possibilities for all. To all who work for and celebrate freedom and independence, thank you.

May the Fourth be with you!

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