This Independence Day, I invite you to experience a new kind of freedom; a freedom of going without.

 

Live without pretending. Be true to who you are, with grace and charisma. Be willing to speak your truth, which can be as simple as politely declining an invitation to do something that you would rather not do. Be in relationship with your body and all that goes on within it. Notice when you are receiving messages through pain or discomfort and LISTEN to them. Don’t pretend that you aren’t in pain and push your body past its comfortable space. Don’t pretend that everything is easy and happy when you feel like emotions are welling up inside and waiting to be released. The most important person to be honest with is you.

 

Love without depending. Depending creates attachment to expectations or outcomes. Depending also creates conditions for loving. This is a call for grounded self-love. Through genuinely loving yourself, you won’t need to depend on somebody else to love you or “fill the gap”. Self-love creates an authentic space of receiving love within the capacity and capability of the giver. Self-love also provides strength and courage to face challenges on your own while knowing when to ask for help or support.

 

Listen without defending. When people share ideas or comments, even if the energy is a bit forceful, it is not a call to defend you. Listening without defending is also a call for self-love. When there is a struggle to love and accept oneself, words spoken by others are easily perceived as attacks. Instead, listen with your heart. Be curious and open to the words and ideas of others, even if you don’t share the same viewpoint. Allow gentle curiosity to inspire connection. We all have a story…be willing to openly listen to someone else’s.

 

Speak without offending. Words are a powerful source of creation…and destruction. Don’t underestimate the impact of your spoken word. We are not to shame or judge others. We are not to “prove” ourselves by devaluing the worthiness of another. We also don’t need to force our ideas or beliefs upon others. We are all free to live our lives the way we want and believe what we choose to believe. Share ideas with an openness that invites others to listen. We need to speak to others the way we would want to be spoken to, which includes the way in which we speak to ourselves.

 

I’m barely scratching the tip of the iceberg with each of these thoughts. Each one could be a blog post in its own right. So instead of me sharing examples from my life that support each of these, I invite you to take some time and reflect.

 

What masks do I wear in the course of my life?

 

Why do I feel the need to pretend to be someone or something I’m not?

 

What conditions do I place on loving others?

 

What conditions do I place on loving me?

 

How often do I defensively listen? Is it with one particular person? Is it around a specific topic?

 

When did I last use my words to intentionally deliver a “barb” to prove a point to someone? Was it effective? Did I feel at peace with the result?

 

Find your own freedom.

 

Liberate yourself from entanglements.

 

Bring awareness into your daily choices.

 

Carry the power of creation and love in all that you do.

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