In America we’re all looking forward to this celebrating our country’s independence this weekend. For most, you’ll be getting together with friends and family to barbecue, socialize, watch some fireworks, and reflect on what it means to be an American.
For me, the meaning of Independence Day has changed quite a bit over the years. As a young girl, I remember hiding inside with my ears covered, peaking through the window as my father and brothers set off the fireworks. I watched in awe as they lit up the night and explosions boomed through the neighborhood. They would always save a sparkler for me at the end of the show and cheer me on as I cautiously drew my name in the night sky. Childhood Independence Days were about loud fireworks and feeling safe with my family.
Most Fourth of July’s as an adult have been filled with parties, cooking, friends, baseball games, and epic firework displays. I would inwardly express my gratitude for those who have fought to keep our country safe, and pray for their families patience and bravery. However, it was much more about celebrating a long weekend with friends than it was about reflecting on the true meaning of “freedom.”
This year feels different for me. I look at “freedom” from another perspective this time around. I’m thinking of freedom as the ability to choose in each moment how I think, feel, and want to be. “Real freedom is not what we acquire. It’s what we think.”
It is a profound gift, this freedom to choose how you think. You have the choice to think thoughts of joy, anger, judgement, peace, love, and everything in between. What a blessing it is, that in each moment we have the freedom to choose, and choose again. This freedom is not something that we acquire from outside ourselves, but rather an innate quality we were created with.
Maybe you’re aware of this freedom, and maybe some of you have never looked at freedom from this perspective. I encourage you this weekend to exercise your freedom of thought.
Happy Independence Day!