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Self-Governance and Independence

freedomBy Rev. Carol

July 4, 2016

I am reflecting today on the radical idea of self-governance. I am grateful for those who declared it for our nation on this day 240 years ago. Freedom for a nation is a hard-won battle – not something to take lightly, but something that is won at great sacrifice. While perhaps the ideal of freedom for all in our nation wasn't fully manifested at the outset, we are continually evolving toward it.

The right of self-governance places a demand on us as citizens to be responsible, committed and educated. It is no different for us on a personal level. Each of us is endowed with the divine gift of self-governance but few of us truly live it, preferring instead to let circumstances and conditions establish who we are. It takes great commitment and responsibility to govern our mind and heart. In Truth, we are completely free to create our experience of life by the thoughts, beliefs and even feelings that we choose. In Truth, we are self-determinant beings. And no one can ever take that from us.

During my Sunday talk yesterday I asked the provocative question, “What determines you?” Another way of looking at this is to consider what/who you are dependent upon and what/who you are not dependent on. If you want to become a self-determined person, your path drives you to increasingly identify with your inner I AM Self and depend on the ‘still, small voice within,’ versus the voice of the ego, which is focused on the turbulent and whimsical outer world.

As we ponder our journeys toward self-determination, I suggest a few areas from which you may wish to “declare your independence.” Like self-governance, they are all radical and also not easily attained. Perhaps you will connect with one or two…

I Declare My Independence From:

  •       The belief that outer conditions determine my inner state. (Nothing can disturb the inner I AM. It is eternal and unchanging.)
  •       The idea that the problem is outside of me. (As they say, “If you spot it, you got it.” You are free to take action on something that annoys you in the world if you want, but your true work is to transform yourself. That’s the biggest contribution you can make.)
  •       The opinions of others and my need to be validated by others. (You are perfect and whole in Divine Mind – that’s good enough.)
  •       My need for friends, family and co-workers to do what I want or need them to do. (Control messes with relationships. You can only really control your own self. Try that for a while!)
  •       The need to be right. (This is a relationship non-starter! Even if you are right, you are likely not going to convince the other, so put your energy into something more creative.)
  •       The need for life to be fair. (The world as we know it is not fair – we are approximating fairness but we have a long way to go. Sometimes you just have to deal with the unfairness and push through it. By doing so, you will accomplish your actual soul work.)
  •       The need to put a positive spin on EVERYTHING. (Allow others and yourself the opportunity to fully experience legitimate feelings. Putting a positive spin on something that another person is sharing can invalidate their experience. Try listening instead.)
  •       The fear of being harmed or not secure in the world. (The outer world generally is not safe or secure. We all want it to be, but it isn't, and your fear of it will paralyze you. Put your trust in God as you move through life. God is safe.)
  •       The desire to avoid commitment. (It’s a myth that there is freedom in not committing to someone/something. That is the way of the leaf randomly blowing in the wind. There is true freedom in commitment because from there you know who you are and what is important to you.)
  •       Self-criticism, blame and shame. (Love yourself. You are worthy. God created you to be amazing. If you did something you feel bad about, don’t dwell in feeling bad. Learn from it and move forward.)
  •       Needing to have clarity before I take action. (Take a step! Clarity will then come. Watch where your energy expands and where it contracts. That’s clarity!)
  •       Measuring my wealth by my bank account. (You are wealthy now. Anyone who breathes and is able to experience Life and connection is wealthy beyond measure.)
  •       Needing to prove anything to anyone. (If you want to earn another medal, get it for yourself. Show yourself how much you appreciate you.)
  •       The idea that someone else, or some past circumstance, is responsible for my current situation. (Claim responsibility for your life. Sure, sometimes undesirable stuff happens. But you have control over your thoughts and beliefs. Create something new!)
  •       Expecting others to pick up my slack. (Being late, not following through on what you said you would do, etc. affects the order of other people’s lives. Do you really want to be that person?)
  •       Suffering in general. (We are not created to suffer, but to live fully!)

Today, declare your independence! And declare your inner (I AM) dependence. That’s the first step. As with our nation’s self-governance, attaining it will likely be a hard-won battle – an inner struggle. But it’s what our journey is all about. And life on the other side is truly free.

Happy July 4th.

Silent Unity


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