Independence Day, Finding Freedom
This Fourth of July, my thoughts take me deep into my heart and home. Sometimes I face outward and celebrate or decry what is transpiring in the larger world. Sometimes what is within is louder and more potent. I hope you'll find something in my story that can encourage you in yours.
You know, NEEDING the approval of others can be a virtual prison of our own making. We cannot control what others think, feel or express. Trying to control it left me feeling drained, disempowered and frustrated. Have you ever spent time imprisoned there too? In this place, we might blame others--or blame ourselves. I never really realized how much I craved other people’s validation and approval. It was part of my DNA. Socially acceptable and validating on a certain level, I kept my focus on doing and being what I thought those important people wanted me to be. I worked hard to ensure everyone would understand my intentions and approve.
As decade followed decade, I eventually came to grips with the fact that no one EVER has everyone’s approval. I began to see that their perceptions were colored by their stories, their needs and wounds. STILL, I felt compelled to try to justify and explain so the naysayers might finally understand and therefore approve of me. Why? I guess so I'd feel loved. Acceptable. Okay. Validated. Did it work? Nope. Most of the time, it just caused angst, stress, drama and judgement. Me blaming them for not understanding, for judging. Indignation. Sadness. What an energy drain, with nothing to show for it.
Just recently I had a new thought. Maybe not new, but I think it finally worked its way into the core of my psyche beyond the desperate girl who wanted what she couldn't create. What if?
What if it didn’t matter what others decide to believe about me? What if I allow them to simply carry on with their story about me however untrue it might be? What if the only thing that matters is that I remain true to my heart nature and do, say, and be what is right and important to me. No longer spending my precious time and life energy on seeking validation or correcting misperceptions? Freedom. Independence. Self-validation. Acceptance. Approval.
That's a new chapter. That's opening the prison doors. That's walking out into the fields and breathing deeply of joy and peace. That frees up a lot of energy!! What a new and beautiful way to interact with the world. I'm grateful that we can declare our own Independence Day. That we can keep learning, letting go. Experiencing new levels of freedom.