It’s the 4th of July!
I wanted to write something light and happy and fun to celebrate the day. Then the very first quote I read this morning was, “Every flower must grow through dirt.” And I thought, yup, from flowers to countries to relationships, we all grow through dirt first, and then comes the sunlight, the feel good, and the freedom.
Sometimes it feels like we all want to skip to the freedom (and the hot dogs and the fireworks), but the truth is none of the fun stuff would have happened without the dirty stuff – deciding we were willing to fight for what we believed in, taking our lives into our own hands, which sometimes means going to war.
Revolutionary Wars are still fought all over our planet with brave soldiers paying the price of freedom with their lives. However we fight our own internal wars whenever we declare we want to live a better life, simplify, declutter, dream a deeper dream, or re-define marriage on our own terms.
Declaring our independence from our own negative thinking or limiting beliefs can be a beautiful powerful experience. The freedom to choose what we believe and how will act upon what we believe is the foundation that the beautiful United States was built on.
We honor our freedom to choose every day by choosing what we think, how we act, and what we will believe about ourselves and the world. I believe the world is full of good people. I see good people every day doing their best. I also believe good people can be terrible drivers – but that is blog post for another day ;-).
Patriotism doesn’t have to be wrapped in a flag. Every time I exercise my power to choose, I am expressing my love and devotion for my country.
In marriage we find another kind of freedom. It’s the freedom to surrender our illusion that we can do everything on our own and to declare to the world that we are now and forever part of a team. I see it as declaring our interdependence. We declare before our friends, our family and our very well-dressed little cousins, that we will rely on each other for the rest of our lives.
Then we laugh and smile and dance the electric slide – or in my case, add a conga line or two, and a mariachi band. We go on our honeymoons and we splash and kiss and hug. Then when we come home there are dishes to wash and mortgages to pay and at some point we ask ourselves something like, “Damn, can’t it just be fireworks every day?”
Well the truth is that fireworks every single day would probably get annoying and affect our ear drums and then we would want something else every day instead. That feeling of wanting fireworks is usually a message from our soul; it’s trying to tell us to look for the things that make us smile. For me, the idea of fireworks is seeing something beautiful and exciting.
Thinking through my lens as a life coach, my first question is not how to have more fireworks every day, but how to find more “beautiful and exciting” in my every day experiences. And if I don’t have some beauty and excitement to look forward to – how can I add those elements to my daily life.
For me very simple things like pinning on Pinterest add beauty to my life and make me smile. And I get all the excitement I can handle by planning vacations and adventures with The Hubs. Those are my fireworks and I have a little bit of them almost every day.
You will see a lot of quotes today about flags and wars and founding fathers and signatures, but this one was my favorite:
You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism. ~ Erma Bombeck
Today’s LoveWork is to answer these two questions – How do you define freedom? What are your fireworks? Please share in the comments.