What does the 4th for July represent to you? When we think of what our country was founded on and what July 4th represents most would think Independence. Several years ago, I visited Williamsburg and was made much more aware of what Americans were fighting for…our independence to make our own decisions separate from Great Britain that wanted to have so much control financially and in every way. Isn’t this true of our lives? Aren’t we always fighting for some type of independence? Maybe it is moving away from a family that still tends to want to control our decisions. It could also be separating from a very controlling individual we are in a relationship that doesn’t honor our own choices. Our thoughts can also control us. I believe we are constantly in a state of influx trying to regain independence. I personally believe the only one that we can richly benefit from being more dependent on is God.

I find in counseling people the harder we have held onto dependence on our parents, the less individuation in developing our own sense of self. We may find it harder to connect to our true self independent of them.
We tend to wrestle with being able to be fully dependent on God perhaps due to beliefs we have about Him really being someone that has our best interests in mind. We may have wounds around that going back to our upbringing with our physical Dad. If we had a rather punitive Dad or demanding parents, it is easy to transform those beliefs to our relationship with God. Why would we want to be dependent on a God who is going to come down on us like a taskmaster? So much must be weeded through to come to an understanding of what a loving parent looks like.

We may find that by letting go of control we will find ourselves feeling so much more freedom. The premise of most 12 step programs is to relinquish control over anything we feel powerless around. Most of what controls us can be considered some form of an addiction. It can be something we are compelled to do physically to give us good feelings which many times leaves us feeling the opposite… drained and depleted since it didn’t give us what we want.
So this 4th of July what are you declaring independence from? Is it from people that control you, thoughts that you have been a victim of believing, or some physical addiction that you want to let go of. It might be a good time to surrender this to a higher being or God that can take it and give you what you are really longing for.

Tips for maintaining independence:
• Relinquish control over things that keep you from being true to yourself
• Let go of thoughts that you remain captive and don’t promote good feelings
• Examine your family beliefs that you feel hostage to
• Develop a healthier concept of the true Father you can truly surrender to

Here’s to finding your true independence? Have a wonderful 4th of July.