Independence Day…the 4th of July. The day we celebrate freedom of our country. I’ve been listening to songs of America and hearing stories of our forefathers. It’s amazing what people have gone through. How brothers banded together to defend the flag from the British…they refused to let it fall. They refused to give up. They fought until they died…for freedom. How amazing is it that men and women are willing give up their lives for freedom? This is the foundation in which America was built on. We’ve been divided so many times. We’ve gone to war with each other. We judge, we hate, we tear each other down….for what? To remind us that there is still greed and power…that is war. Sometimes war is necessary…you must fight to defend what you stand for because sadly enough, people don’t always listen. Everyone has to be right and it’s easier to speak using fists and weapons, than with words and understanding. However, not everyone is ready or have the mental capacity to comprehend.
I haven’t always been ready. My whole life I have fought for freedom. I’ve wanted to be allowed to be who I was. No judgement, no regrets, no guilt, no shame. Why haven’t I ever felt free? What does freedom even mean to me? When I moved out of my parents house I was escaping their rule…their chaos…and ended up moving into my own. I got married and had a baby, despite of everyone’s warnings, yet felt trapped. I got out of that, was a single mom…the challenges and judgement I faced with that, well, I was never going to be free. Then the unimaginable happened, he was gone too…and I was chained to my grief, my guilt, my shame. Even healing from so much of the suffering I put myself though, I still, have never felt free…until now. I know what freedom can be to me. It is because I am breaking my chains, untying my ropes, forgiving myself and the ones in my life that have hurt me, stepped on me holding me down. I have been on this path of healing for a long time and it has finally put me on the path to finding out what freedom truly is.
Freedom is being true to ourselves. Following our hearts, listening to our heads and trusting the feeling in our guts. This means doing what is right by us. Not because we are TOLD by our parents, by our churches, by our teachers, by our peers, by our communities. I do need to give my parents credit for telling me to not just follow blindly when it came to religion. To make sure it felt right. Those words allowed me in my brain to open up a whole new realm of possibilities. I did it without judgement. If a religion or belief is right to you…do it! Be free! And allow me to do the same. I am not saying that we should not be given guidelines or boundaries…we should. Especially our children need to be taught. But we can teach them in a way that allows them to understand why. That gives them the opportunity to learn how to communicate their feelings and act, and react, in a place of love.
We cannot take back the past. The fighting and the wars happened. Men, women and children still died…and continue to die. My hope is in finding freedom within ourselves will set our future up to succeed. We should honor and give thanks and love to our troops that have defended and are currently defending our country so we can continue to have freedom to teach our children to find freedom inside of themselves. To have the confidence to fight with love and kindness instead of violence and hate. To believe that peace is possible. To stand up next to a friend…in our own American soil… no matter what race, color, religion, or sex and call them brother or sister defending one another and make this country what it is meant to be… letting freedom ring!
For the incredible story of how the Star Spangled Banner came about, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hZe8CPGA1E .