Happy Independence Day, Whatever That Means To You

   Independence. If ever there was a word to describe the beauty of growing older, but never old, it is this. 

   You and I have been through many phases of personal independence and will likely experience a few more. Yet my thoughts for today started as I reflected on the meaning of shared independence, where together we experience a multitude of freedoms that were started with a written declaration of the 4th of July, 1776. 

    Most of our strongest and best freedoms, whether personal or collective, take place after similar actions. We get annoyed, then bothered, then incensed. We protest, first in small ways that only make US feel better, then bigger ways designed to fight back. Next comes the real fight where there are casualties and real, abiding pain. We feel wounded, yet brave. We find our strength in the victory of each battle, and we become stronger after the war is finally over. We declare our independence out loud, and we declare it in writing. Only after that do we achieve true independence. 

  Complacency, though, is the enemy. We have to guard our independence, whether personal or collective, and keep our hearts soft, yet firm, and our eyes open, yet focused. 

  What about you? Are you in one of the phases of gaining or protecting independence? Are you fighting a battle or are you ready to write your own declaration? Are you wiser because of it and now able to help someone else who is in the fight? Give it some thought today as you, too, ponder the meaning of the word and where it fits in your life.

And happy Independence Day, whatever that means to you and wherever you are in the journey. You are strong and you are beautiful. You will grow older, but it is your choice to never grow old.

Hugs and kisses,

Carol

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