Create Your Own Independence Day
I have struggled with independence for years, my blog displaying evidence in plain sight where I publish a couple of blogs a year and then stop, coming up with all kinds of excuses why I don’t create time to write. Behind the scenes lurk myriads of half- finished posts where I skidded to a stop in fear and contraction when I got hooked on needing to say the right thing the right way.
In spite of this struggle, I still move towards independence, a primal impulse we all share, finding my authentic voice, different from other voices, different from other ways of thinking. I feel most free when I open that doorway in myself and let the words flow without constriction like turning on a fire hydrant full blast on a hot summer’s day, unapologetically refreshing. My body softens and the words emerge organically from I know not where.
What If Someone Doesn’t Like It?
But movement towards freedom feels complex because while that free flow feels fantastic, a niggling voice inside me gets louder and louder. “What if someone doesn’t like it? What if no one reads it? What if I say something wrong?” This red-headed devil on my shoulder buries a pitchfork in my flesh quickly constricting that free flow like a boa constrictor tightening itself around my throat making sure no unauthorized words escape. Heaven forbid I might say something inflammatory, something rebelliously truthful like “shame is a verb, something we do to ourselves” or “we can’t silence our inner critic; there is another way.” Do I have enough letters after my name? Do I have permission to speak? Who am I to be different? The self-sabotage runs amok. Dare I stand out? Dare I show you another possibility?
I Feel Vulnerable
I feel vulnerable. I risk rejection. That’s it, plain and simple. I got to know this place from all of the times I spoke from my heart and someone didn’t listen, didn’t respond or criticized my precious expression like slamming the door in the face of my authenticity. I learned to pre-empt that painful heartache by constricting myself first because after all they must be right. They must know more than me. How can my expression be a good thing if they don’t like it? What a bind. Expression or connection, not both. That’s what I came to believe about myself.
What If I Can Have Both Connection & Independence?
So, what’s the worst thing that can happen now? Sure, some people might not like what I write. Even more won’t bother to read it. And what if you, my reader, feel moved? What if my words rouse a knowing deep inside you, a warmth in your heart or a relaxation in your gut. What if my words inspire your own Independence Day, launching you on your own declaration of independence from old patterns, identities and what you came to believe about yourself. I feel most free when I help you feel most free. I must risk unapologetically speaking up. Join me there. Happy Independence Day!