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My mom made her transition ten years ago on July 4th. An auspicious day for an angelversary. Today's picture painted by my mom, Barbara Riga, in 1977.

The 4th of July in the Unites States stands for freedom, and yet so many of us throughout our lives struggle for our inner freedom.

I’m 69 years old and for the second time in my life I have come out of the closet. No more hiding. For over 40 years I experienced seeing, knowing, hearing through the veil and ran from it terrified and overwhelmed from inner judgments of my differences. It’s much safer to blend in. For the past five years I have been working with mediumship coaches and mentors and can finally say I am a trance medium. I am psychic. I access a higher energy and can heal with my hands. I am free.

It's my truth, and owning my truth is freeing.

Our egos are built with thick walls fortified by our childhood experiences, our need to fit in, our want for success, our inner judge, goading us forward as we search outside of ourselves for love and community. It’s a lifelong project. And it’s really half the story.

Our inner world, our relationship with our Higher Self, or however one defines it, is less talked about, though equally important. I had no models of this journey growing up. I thought all my deep wants and needs were to be found outside of myself, but in truth they are really inside.

Through years of therapy, I learned to reparent myself. Reparenting is the term I use, and there are many other modalities and resources. One example is IFS (Internal Family Systems). No matter the modality, it is the process of learning to lovingly respect our inner parts. There are numerous resources out there all geared towards healing our inner selves.

As I became aware of my inner critics, often they were the voice of a parent or a teacher admonishing me and it didn’t feel good. The familiar message would randomly pop up, repeating and insulting me, keeping me small, silent and oppressed. This awareness is a doorway.

A doorway is an opportunity to change. I remedied this negative message by creating a loving message in its stead resulting in an affirmation on a sticky note hung in various places to remind me again and again this new message of encouragement. Every remedy helps retrain my brain and replace my inner critical voice.

I had many negative messages roiling around in my mind and still struggle with them. Once I learn the formula to remedy, it helps me move forward. It takes work. It takes commitment. Most importantly, it takes a desire to improve my life and experience happiness. It takes time.

I am worth the effort. You are worth the effort. I have no doubt.

So, on this holiday weekend, be gentle with yourself. Be kind to yourself. Find a couple moments to demonstrate this kindness to yourself. The power is in your intention. Imagine what you would do with your best friend and do it with yourself. Give yourself an opportunity to begin building an inner support system. Start with one minute and work up slowly.

Be forewarned, if your ego is determined to keep you small, there will be resistance. That’s okay. Remember, the loving parent has immeasurable patience and understanding. Take a breath and begin.

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