As we celebrate Independence Day, I’m called to remember all of those who stood up for what they believed in, in order that we might have the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, as outlined in the preamble to our Declaration of Independence.
These rights are seen as self-evident, endowed by our Creator. Given that, we are called to a certain responsibility for creating the fullness of life that we desire. It’s in our hands, in our minds, and in our hearts to create the life we want – that is the legacy bestowed on us by our forefathers.
Often, when transitioning through any area of life, whether a health challenge, a change in job or living environment, or an end or shift in relationship, we come face to face with where we may have taken these rights for granted. Maybe we shirked some responsibility, or over looked what was necessary in the pursuit of our dreams. Perhaps we traded our liberty for what was comfortable, the idea of change too daunting.
Several areas of my life are presently in transition. I’m exploring a vegetarian diet for greater energy and vitality; I’ve made a commitment to a new career path, which requires me to step up to the plate in a bigger way than I ever have; I have a new roommate moving in, and we’re in the midst of recreating how our living space will look and feel; and my present relationship is in the process of shifting into something new.
None of these changes have a clear outcome. To say the least, all have created a wide range of emotions. So I sit with the question, how do I graciously move through transition, maintaining a sense of balance and grounding, while allowing the full experience of change with all its emotions?
I see it as a time to reevaluate strengths and weaknesses, what’s been working, and what needs to be vamped up. It’s sort of like what happens when we live in the same place for a long period of time. We tend to compensate for the things that aren’t working effectively, and over time, the compensation becomes the norm and we don’t even know anything’s wrong. Like the front door that we have to lift up when we close it in order for it to latch.
Put that house on the market, and all the deficiencies we had compensated for are suddenly glaring us in the face. Often, when evaluating our lives, we have to come to terms with how we compromised ourselves by playing small. All of this while dealing with the endings that merge with the new beginnings, smearing them with all that we don’t want to take forward.
As I step into this life transition, there’s a sense of exhilaration for the journey that lies ahead of me. A sense of a greater freedom and deeper independence envelopes me. There is so much opportunity; the world is my ice cream parlor and I’m positioned to sample all the amazing flavors.
And yet, there remains an emotional storm that continues to show up unannounced. Sometimes anger, sometimes hurt, sadness, fear, resolve, sometimes elation and excitement. They can shift from one to the next without any warning. None of them for any particular reason. All of them part of the process of change.
When we recognize that it’s simply a storm, that sunny skies lie in our future, instead of being overwhelmed, the storm becomes a test of our strength, courage, and endurance. These are the same qualities embodied by our forefathers as they embarked on a revolution that lead to their independence.
As we exercise the rights endowed by our Creator, let us remember, that the Creator is present within, the source of our strength and determination. We can then release any need to figure everything out in this moment, surrender to our higher calling, allow our good to come forth, and live in the question, “Wow, I wonder what’s next?” Truly, the spirit of independence requires no less in order for us to realize our absolute freedom. Are you ready to soar?