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