We often associate the July 4th holiday with hot dogs, hamburgers, fireworks and fun. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of these because they remind me of the start of the summer season and my it’s my birthday month, I might add!
A few days ago, I was pondering the thought of being independent so I went to m-w.com to see how the dictionary aligned with my definition. There were so many and all were spot on with my view of the word but the one that stuck out the most was “showing a desire for freedom.” There’s a lot to be said in those five simple words as it relates to people, money, peace of mind and happiness. I thought I’d sum it up this way:
Independent from other people doesn’t mean that you cut yourself off from human connection. We need that and were made for it. However, it does mean that you have a desire to be free from allowing others’ negativity and baggage to cripple your sense of being.
Many people speak of their relationship to money from a place of limitation by making a statement like “I’ll never be able to afford that.” I get that because if you’ve ever experienced lack on any level then “lack” is the point of reference that’s most familiar. Contrary to this limiting belief, a desire for financial freedom means that you’re open to the abundance that is your birthright. Being able to eliminate money as a factor in your decision making doesn’t mean you disregard financial responsibility. It just means you don’t have to make trade-offs between what you need to do and what you want to do.
Peace of mind and happiness are valuable assets to well-being. Being independent means you shy away from things, people and situations that would disrupt your peace and you get to define the things that make you happy. Then you can pursue those things without hurting or disrespecting others, or expecting others to create these assets for you. In fact, now that I’m older, I see the value in establishing internal happiness so that you’re free to show others how it should be demonstrated in your interactions with them.
There are so many other areas of our lives where we may show a desire for freedom: health, spirituality, creativity, time, travel, speech … the list is endless.
So what does freedom look like to you and how can you shift what has been familiar to this point in order to experience a new level of it for yourself?