I am a firm believer that wisdom grows out of our mistakes. But the momentum gained through our troubles is sometimes lost because our patterns of thinking and behavior have not changed and are crowded out by the demands laid upon us by our family and friends; by our co-workers, our government, and the media; by our culture and even by our pre-recorded beliefs that we did not choose. As a result, our short burst of motivation born from newly-gained wisdom is quickly blown away like smoke in a breeze.
The troubling result from the demands put upon us, is that we remain locked in a life not of our choosing. We are dependent on forces outside of ourselves because we’ve forgotten who we really are at the core. We’ve lost the passion that once coursed through our veins. We are trapped by everything everybody else wants from us; we are trapped by the expectations of others and from other people telling us what we can and cannot do. We are told what to think, how to behave, and most importantly, we are told who we are.
The opening line from the second paragraph of the United States Declaration of Independence is profound wisdom gained from the hardships of people yearning to be free:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
I love the beauty and pureness of the phrase, “We hold these truths to be self-evident”. Think about yourself. Think about your life. If you block out all the noise coming from all directions and listen to your own inner voice–perhaps for the first time in a very long time–you may actually connect with your own self-evident truths. That we are all born as equals, to me is self-evident and no one can tell me otherwise. What about unalienable rights? This means we’re all born with the freedom and right to stay alive, to be free, and to follow our own inner voice–our self-evident truth–as It guides us to happiness.
I am not a perfect person. But in my imperfections, in my flaws and mistakes, and from my pain, I grow stronger and wiser. But the most important time in your life is now! Nothing can be done about our past mistakes–leave them in the past. You are who you are NOW. The real tragedy is if you do not use your wisdom, gained through your mistakes, to make a better life for yourself today. But even if you continue to succumb to outside pressures and unwanted influences; even if you make another mistake…and another, each moment presents a new opportunity to start again. But you must take responsibility for your life, for your thoughts, and for your actions!
Today, I honor the proclaimed independence of the United States through the writing of the Declaration of Independence by declaring my own independence from mental tyranny and obfuscated dreams caused by negative external influences, which, at times, have seemed to hold me powerless and dependent. But never again!
My Personal Declaration of Independence
When in the course of life events, it becomes necessary for me to dissolve the mental beliefs which have chained me to false ideals impressed upon me by others; and when it’s necessary for me to assume the strength and power of my natural state of being to which the Laws of Nature and of Life entitle me, an honest recognition of who I really am requires that I should declare myself separated from any causes and influences which force upon me a will outside of my own.
I hold these truths to be self-evident, that all people are created equal, that I am endowed by Life with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the freedom to pursue Happiness. That to secure these rights:
- Responsibility must be assumed by me, deriving my just powers from the conviction of my own mental government.
- That whenever any outside form of influence becomes destructive and impinges on my freedom, it is my right to alter or sever damaging ties and to institute a new relationship with it, laying a new foundation based upon honorable principles and respecting its right to govern itself in such as way as to effect its Safety and Happiness.
- That positive relationships, long established, should not be changed for light and frivolous causes.
- Accordingly, all experience has shown that I am more likely to suffer while negative external forces are attempting to influence me without my awareness, than when I knowingly enter into fair, balanced, and responsible exchanges of influence. It is, thereby, my right to abolish any destructive forms of influence to which I may have unknowingly been accustomed but have recently become aware of.
- When a long history of abuses and negativity, pressing its will upon me, reveals a design to reduce my will and keep me under absolute tyranny and dependency, it is my right–it is my duty–to throw off such oppression, and to cultivate a new self-esteem along with honorable and just beliefs for my future security.
Having been, in the past, dominated by external forces and influences, now is the time, by absolute necessity, that I call upon myself to cast off–and with great conviction–all negative influences, and external mental-governments; all expectations not aligned with who I declare myself to be; and to be forgiven and released from personal persecution by which I may have blamed myself for any past wrong-doings. As proof of my conviction in support of this personal declaration of independence, let the facts of my present and future behavior be submitted for all to observe. And with the hope of long Life, the expectation of Liberty, and the engaged pursuit of Happiness, I declare independence, now and forever!
This is my personal Declaration of Independence. It’s a powerful statement culled directly from my heart and it’s deeply meaningful for me. I highly recommend that you take the time to craft your own declaration of independence and let it guide you throughout your life. Please share your thoughts about my declaration of independence and also, I would LOVE to read yours, if you write one. I wish you the best day and life that you can create. Happy Independence Day, everyone!