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My Independence

National holidays are always hard for someone like me who holds a myriad of memories of what can no longer be. Even though we are fresh out of lockdown, I can feel the sense of partying in the cars on the streets and the shoppers in their hurrying. I can’t approach a holiday without care, knowing I must be there for me standing at the door of my heart, protecting the sore spots within. I participate very little, holding back behind the lines, honoring what I need, taking care of what is mine.

I reflect on independence in my early waking time–of leaving home and college, of breaking free of the binds, of expressing my truth, speaking up for my wants, of having opinions and choosing who I love. As I have learned who I am over time, I have had to drag along courage as well for who I am does not fit the mold of the expectations tattooed on my role. With every loss I have won, in a sense, by claiming the silver within; with every struggle I have won as I shed another skin. Every ladder I climb I uncover the rising fears, with every rung I step, I remind myself I can handle it!

Through my doubts and my fears and my worst nightmares I hold a toolbelt of resources I have gathered over time. Breathing is a key to staying with me. Intention and focus is important too. Abandoning my inner child is no long allowed as I stay truthful with myself. I find my voice as I find my anger. I add in my ability to discern when I am safe and who I trust, knowing the door I can use when I must. My choice of sharing is chosen carefully. I don’t venture into a space that is not right. I trust myself and my sensitivities, turning inward for guidance instead of outside.

Every encounter with struggle there’s a lesson inside. I remember as the chaos unfolds. Every hurt I harbor held hidden in my heart holds the freedom of my soul. This toolbelt of sorts is now part of my armor. It clangs and bangs as I maneuver through each day reminding me I am here for me holding my strength and vulnerability. So in the freeing and independence of my soul, I am embracing more and more my life purpose and wisdom and power of love and the magnificence of spirit we all share.

Participants’ Reflections:

  • Thank you for the reminder of my toolbelt. I was upset last night about forgetting a deadline and couldn’t sleep. During the meditation, I focused on the tools in my toolbelt and remembered I had taken the 3rd step which is to ‘make a decision to turn my will and life over to my higher power.’ I don’t get to beat myself up anymore. I am in my higher power’s hands and all is well.

  • The 4th of July is hard for me as a mother thinking about all the drunk drivers. My daughter may be with one. I am facing a court custody trial this week. It’s so difficult. I am facing slander, accusations. I have so many fears. Everything has been such a shock with the pandemic making it worse.

  • I encourage you to remember to breathe. Before the panic even starts, remember to stay centered.

  • I meditated on the sea, how it gives, how it takes stuff like glass and polishes it and gives it back as a gift. The ocean takes our stuff and gives gifts. All will be well, breathe, look for good today. I figure it’s just 12 hours.

  • Yes, sometimes I’m in the space to just get through the next hour, or 3 hours. Staying in the moment.

  • I used to focus on independence on this holiday. Now I focus on my own independence.

  • More than independence, I now think more about interdependence. To focus not as individuals, but as groups of people. I celebrate interdependence.

  • Community is so important.

  • I loved the words ‘magnificence of spirit.’ Good to share, we share it. In the face of ugliness, we need to remember that.

  • The magnificence of spirit is allowing the ugliness to come out. Holding onto community helps us. A few days ago, we talked about being connected to the collective consciousness which is huge. It is growing as people wake up. It counteracts the collective unconsciousness with all its fears and worries and ugliness.

  • During the meditation, I kept thinking of the phrase “none of us are free until all of us are free.” I was in court where I was a witness. I was quite scared. I kept saying “peace” as all the scariness kept coming. Try saying a word. It helps to get out of the anxiety and back to the present.

  • I remember during my divorce proceedings I wrote on my hand “I love you.” I could read the words as I sat there and it helped me be there for me.

  • You will have lots of angels around you. No one can take away the love you feel.

Photo credit: Jack Cohen

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