There's independence from our parents that we forge as teens. There's independence from foreign rule, which is what the holiday is all about. And then there's the independence that comes from not wanting to be vulnerable to other people.
The USSR Taught Me What Freedom Means
I had a fun trip to Moscow, and two cities in the south near Afghanistan. The people were wonderful. The scenery and experiences will stay with me a lifetime. But it was the flight home that really shifted big something in me. About 45 minutes after departing Moscow, I suddenly took a huge breath, and felt as if I were coming up from under water. I knew that we had just left Soviet air space. In that moment, I knew
what freedom meant. And a deep appreciation for what I have as an American was born in me.
Even though communism failed and the USSR is no more, I doubt that they enjoy the same freedoms we have. I think from time to time about going back to see how it's changed, but the more than 12 hour flight is quite a barrier. And it isn't necessary for me. I carry that knowledge of freedom with me.
Family Values Self-RelianceI grew up in a family that prized self-reliance and independence. So much so, that when I had a problem, it didn't occur to me until decades later that I could have asked for advice from my mother.
But it also put a wall between me and others. That core belief that I had to do everything by myself. That I couldn't ask for help.
From Independence to InterDependenceI see it in my siblings, but perhaps it was stronger in me? I was told stories like this one:
I was three years old, and was screaming in the front yard. Mom ran out to discover that I was frustrated that I couldn't open the gate to the back yard. She started to open it, only to hear my protest, "Me do myself!" So she lifted me up so I could reach the latch and open the gate myself.
And a similar story about when I was 4 years old, and unable to undo my seat belt in a small plane. That is, until the handsome (I'm told) captain walked back and grinned at me. I became silent and let him help.
This belief was so embedded, that at about 30 years old, I was assembling a desk from a kit at my teacher's dojo, and someone offered to help. I sat for a moment, realizing that I had no idea how someone could help me with it. I just didn't know what that would look like. How would that work? Two people working on one thing? That moment set me on a path to open myself to interacting more, allowing more, opening more.
The Heart Beat Goes OnIt's a journey that continues. As I open more to help and support form others, I also open to warmth and camaraderie with others. I also find that I am more open to who I am at my depth. I love being more accessible to myself and others. With discernment of course. I have a fabulous group of friends and enjoy their diverse and beautiful expression of the One. And I look forward to more and more, deeper and deeper, sweeter and sweeter. This is a new kind of freedom for me. A heart freedom that brings richness and Joy and gratitude into my life like never before!
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How Dancing in the Dark Taught Me Not to Be a Victim
Dancing with Chaos
First Do No Harm
How About You?Do you find yourself thinking you have to do it all alone?
Do you ask for help when you need it?