Freedom and modern day slavery

 

So it’s been a while since I’ve posted.  Perhaps I’ll start again- time will tell.  I love to write in this blog, and yet a million other things call my attention away from doing so.  And that is part of what prompts this post.

Let me start before the actual content in saying that this is not in any way intended to be a political blog, and would appreciate there not be any comments of the same.  Politics is a very volatile subject these days and I prefer to keep that out of my therapeutic realm.  I also want to state clearly that my use of slave and its derivatives that follow are in no way intended as a comparison to historical slavery.

So today is the Fourth of July.  It’s our national celebration of our freedom from the British.  We have pool parties, eat good food, watch fireworks and socialize.  Perhaps we fly our flag and spend a few minutes thinking patriotic thoughts.  We celebrate what it means to be free.

But despite my own recent efforts with some points in the win column, I am aware of how easy  and prevalent it has become for us to enslave ourselves.  We become slaves to our jobs, our commitments, our homes, our families, cultural trends and while the list can go on, most of all, slaves to our fears.

Words that define slave:  owned by another, works excessively hard, forced to obey.  Certainly my assertion doesn’t meet that definition in the literal sense.  And yet, I see people every day (and sometimes myself) working very hard to meet the demands of someone or something that is not me.  An “other” be it a job one stays late to work at when they wish they were with their family.  A socially inspired trend that requires spending outside of one’s comfortable budget.  A body that is punished beyond reasonable limits in order to maintain a culturally identified ideal.

But unlike true slaves, we do this however unknowingly by choice.  We put ourselves in the small box like prisons of behaviors and repeat them day after day both because they are familiar and because they are so often unexamined.  This jail has no lock on the door, but we so often go years before we wander over and give it a tug and discover we could have walked out all along.

Fear is perhaps the most insidious of our masters.  It keeps us faithful and in check.  So often, our fears began a very long time ago and are tied to circumstances that no longer exist.  Yet our actions which support them continue to persist.

So today is Independence Day.  Brave people of long ago and soldiers still today die for our right to be free.  Are you brave enough to light a sparkler to begin your own emancipation today?  Here is a quote I recently came across:

One of the  most courageous decisions you’ll ever make

Is to finally let go

 of what is hurting your heart and soul

Bridgette Nicole

 

6 thoughts on “Freedom and modern day slavery

  1. First off I’m glad you wrote something again Mary. Your writings always make me think. And this was quite a thought provoking one. Slave to your fears huh? Ok I think I can think of 1 or 2 or a dozen examples of me doing that to myself.
    The fear of the unknown is more powerful than my willingness to change things that I despise in my life. I suppose people stronger than I, like the poet in your blog, can make that leap. Maybe I’ll get there. Thanks Mary.

    1. K- you are so right about the power of the unknown to win over our willingness. And sometimes its simply the anticipation of fear that stops us in our tracks. I think we are all stronger than we give ourselves credit for though. Its often more a matter of slowing down and coaching ourselves through. As always thank you for your thoughtful comments!

  2. This quote brought tears to my eyes. Amen to it! And
    may I remember it and make it part of my life!

  3. Great article as usual Mary. I do have one suggestion though. If you could add social media sharing icons to your blog posts, that would allow us to share your great writing with the world.

    1. thank you Brad!
      my website was hacked and i’m still in rebuild stage— but I will try to get this fixed asap!

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