The thing about independence

This weekend the United States celebrates its declaration of independence from Great Britain, made in 1776. An event that is, as all historical events are, a mix of hopefulness, exclusion, ethnocentrism, positivity and harm, progress and potential. We acknowledge this mix with humility and dedication to rise to the promises made.

We can also focus on independence as an inner movement. We can invite into our awareness questions such as: what am I dependent on? How do I experience dependence, independence, interdependence? What dependencies would I let go of, if I could?

The ego clings to a notion of independence that centers itself, and resists the needs of others. My freedom is under attack, it says, out of its fear of losing that central space.

Noticing how the ego clings to its own centricity, we can also invite into our awareness how it feels when we step back from this fear. How it feels when we consider the interdependence and connection of all beings, ourselves one among many, all worthy of compassion, understanding, and love.

Our independence day project can be to continue to notice the dynamic energy released when we let go of needing to be “free” from the intrusion of others, and instead recognize the freedom inherent in our connections with all of life.

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