This year’s Independence Day felt weird to me. Did it for anyone else, or am I the only one who felt super off and un-celebratory about the land of the free?
*gasp* How unpatriotic!
Whatever. Hear me out.
Even though they have absolutely nothing to do with this post, I have to preface with these disclaimers.
While I do not support what our military is currently being commanded to do, I genuinely do, however, completely, fully, and wholeheartedly, support the individual men and women in uniform.
And although I do mostly agree with this sentiment, I’m also not talking about what you most likely saw as you scrolled social media on July 4th–those memes saying, “We’re not a free country until we’re all free.”
Please don’t argue with me about White privilege, White person. That’s not what this post is about.
Putting all that patriotism and White privilege stuff aside for a minute, I want you to ask yourself if you’re truly free too.
I mean, like, really free.
You. As an individual.
How free do you truly feel to express your honest and authentic self?
How free of a thinker are you?
Do you watch/read the news, scroll social media, listen to your family and friends, and get all your information from other people, forming your opinions and beliefs based solely on external sources?
Do you freely say “no” to things that don’t bring you joy or fulfillment?
How often do you sit alone and practice introspection to figure out who you really are, how you really feel, what you really think, so you can express your true self?
How free are you, really?
Think about it. Like really, really think about it. I’ll wait…
I bet you’re not as free as you’d like to think you are. Really none of us are until we reach full enlightenment. We all have human conditioning engrained in our systems, compiled from societal influences throughout our entire lives–that nurture aspect in nature versus nurture.
Remember back when you were a kid and did whatever you wanted without caring what others thought of you?
You lived your colorful life, wore ridiculous outfits, and danced around in the middle of the grocery store, simply because you felt like it.
You knew the topics you loved to learn about, kinds of toys you wanted to play with, activities you were naturally drawn to, and kinds of music that made you feel good.
You straight up did.not.care. what others thought–you did what made you happy, and your individuality was most likely embraced, putting smiles on the faces of those who truly loved you.
You were your authentic self, before you were subliminally told to be someone different.
Before you forgot who you were.
Over the years, you were conditioned to think, dress, and act a certain way, make at least X amount of money, have a certain body size, follow this political stance, believe in that divine godhead, live a normal life, and conform to what society defined as cool, attractive, successful, and acceptable.
Now you spend your money, earned from your 9-5 job, on the hottest trends, newest tech devices, home renovations to reach *dream home* status, with a bougie kitchen that you probably hardly cook in. But hey, it looks swanky on social media and when friends come over, right?
But like, really, what’s being fulfilled here, deep within yourself?
How much do you allow yourself to live by the opinions of others? Do you act according to what you feel deep in your heart, or are you satisfying someone else’s standards and expectations?
What happened to the free-spirited mindset that you once embraced as that awesome little kid?
If you’re not living in a way that is expressing your true self, ignoring the opinions of others, then you’re not living in freedom either.
You guys, declare your fucking independence.
Stop conforming to the ideals and expectations of others if they don’t align with your true self.
Stop sacrificing your authenticity in order to make others feel more comfortable.
Stop subscribing to the bullshit that the media is feeding you.
Instead, try to take a step back, regularly sit with yourself–alone–for a while, journal daily, emancipate yourself from mental slavery, gradually peel back the layers of your conditioned mindset, and remember again who you truly are deep within. And then express that shit, because that is who your beautiful ass came here to be.
That is who the world desperately craves and needs you to be.
And then dance around in the grocery store…because it’s a lot of fun and puts smiles on the faces of complete strangers.