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Independence found, freedom fostered


in Friday FINDS,Holi-DAZE,QUOTE-ability

Fireworks in Capodimonte (VT, Italy)What’s your freedom? Last Friday was Independence Day, Canada Day was the Tuesday before & this coming Monday is Bastille Day. That’s a hell of a lot of freedom being celebrated this month. Whether mindful of existing freedoms or aware of any lack thereof, July offers food for thought. It was also this month that a certain crash occurred in Roswell, New Mexico. That same year, 1947, my grandparents married; the two events may or not be related. :mrgreen: Both were pivotal moments of freedom though. Roswell exemplifies our freedom, not to mention need, to question government as well as what possibilities the universe holds. Equally existential for me is the marriage of Don & Peg Dorey, made possible by Grandma’s freedom to remarry.

“In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed;
it must be achieved.”

~ Franklin D. Roosevelt ~

Free to choose again, to be, to explore, to question, to celebrate; freedoms come in all sizes. The Fourth of July is the day the US (then Continental) Congress adopted The Declaration of Independence, wherein we “declare[d] the United Colonies free and independent States, absolved from allegiance to or dependence on the Crown or Parliament of Great Britain…” Canada Day, on the other hand, didn’t declare separation from Britain but celebrated the creation of the Dominion (the holiday’s original name) of Canada, making them self-governing. Then there’s Bastille Day which marked the beginning of the French Revolution & the end of absolute monarchy with the storming of a prison — a powerful symbol of liberty.

“Order without liberty and liberty without order
are equally destructive.”

~ Theodore Roosevelt ~

Be it by separation, self-empowerment or force, independence can be established a myriad of ways. Throughout high school, I often asserted mine by running away. I was never gone long for, willing as I was to put my mum through Hell, I wasn’t willing to subject her to the lower circles. Continuing the theme, I moved out at 17. A year later, once my ward had graduated, I moved back due to illness & debt but with new rules, the most important of which was my own entrance. 😉 My family was down a Ping-Pong table & up a fiercely independent teen who’d just lost her independence. Or had I? One day, I found a Post-It Momma had put on my desk which was not uncommon but this one had a message I never forgot.

“Freedom is not worth having if it does not connote freedom to err.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi ~

True independence is a state of mind not of being. There could not have been a more powerful or timely epiphany yet my mum maintained she learned it by watching me. After years of trying to prove my independence, confusing it with self-reliance, it wasn’t until it seemed out of reach — as true with so much — that I started claiming it. Forced to abandon preconceived notions, my freedoms were being established in unexpected & more significant ways. I was communicating, rebuilding relationships, giving back, taking the support I needed, living my own life while considerate of others. Although not the freedom I’d ever envisioned, I was becoming truer to myself everyday. That truth needed to take root within before it could be expressed without.

“We must be free not because we claim freedom,
but because we practice it.”

~ William Faulkner ~

Forays into freedom are certainly part of the process yet freedoms are too easily bartered the more there is at stake. There are so many we, as a society, have yet to establish, making those we try to protect that much more precious. For all the freedoms we are given, lose, have yet to gain or give away, none matter as much as what we establish for ourselves. Thankfully, there will always be those marvelous troublemakers that will take the creation of liberty to the next level & help ensure others share in the experience. Even those who affect the greater good had to effect their own change first. So it is with all of us. As Gandhi said, we must be the change we wish to see in the world. We need to claim the freedoms that feed our souls.

“Freedom is the oxygen of the soul.”
~ Moshe Dayan ~

Find your freedom. If there’s any reason you’re not free to be yourself, you’re not free. If you’re independently wealthy but not independent in thought, you’re not free. If you’re maintaining control without finding contentment, you’re not free. When your life is not your own but your actions are, you’re free. When the world is not your oyster but you’ve found a pearl, you’re free. While the big picture is indeed important, the panes it’s made of are crucial. Look at the individual pieces of your life puzzle &, à la Sesame Street, watch for what doesn’t belong. What small freedom could or have you established for yourself that would or did make a huge difference? I recently admitted I wasn’t willing ready to work, freeing myself to keep getting better well. When life’s difficult but there’s hope, we’re free.

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
~ Oscar Wilde ~

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