What did Independence day mean to you? Many of us had time to kick back and get some much-needed relaxation. Others had fun at fireworks in spite of the rain. And others enjoyed family time to be with the relationships they don’t see that often. I like to think of independence day as a time to pull back from those things that control us leaving us bound up from living our true authentic self. Maybe it’s your families that tend to control you. Others might be breaking away from some addictive pattern they feel they can’t break. And others just feel they are not living true to themselves, living a false self and unauthentic to the way God created them.

You would probably think of independence, which is the principle upon which our country was founded. Years ago, I visited Williamsburg, I became aware that Americans were fighting for independence from Great Britain and their need to establish freedom from financial and emotional control. Isn’t this concept true in our lives? Aren’t you usually fighting for some type of independence? Maybe it is moving away from a family that still tends to want to control your decisions. I believe that people are constantly in a state of independence, whether they are moving away from a controlling family, conflicting relationship such as a partner or boss that is difficult. Even your thoughts can also control you.

I sat through some teaching at a church this week on how we wear masks to avoid being vulnerable to our true self. It keeps us from being open to acknowledging our true, authentic side. When we go around wearing a mask, we are being controlled by an image that we want to portray to others of looking good.

I have identified some areas that control me that I want independence from. They are generally tied to living my life based on an image of what others think about me.  It may feel like a stronghold that we just can’t seem to break. You might want to ask yourself, what areas are controlling me and robbing me of joy? Generally, these compulsions keep us stuck in patterns that feel like we are powerless to overcome or conquer them.

Letting go of control allows you to gain much freedom. The premise of most 12 step programs is to relinquish anything that you feel powerless around. Whatever you feel controlled by is considered a form of addiction. You are drawn toward something to elevate your mood, but the opposite may occur. Usually, these compulsions can leave you feeling drained and depleted.

What are you declaring independence from? Is it from people controlling you, from distorted thoughts haunting you, or from some physical addiction?

Tips for Maintaining Independence:

  • Relinquish control over things that keep you from being true to yourself.
  • Let go of thoughts that lock you into a pattern of control.
  • Examine your family beliefs that you feel hostage to.
  • Develop a healthier concept of the true Father you can be dependent on.

Here’s to living true to yourself!