Happy Independence Day!

The 4th of July is American Independence Day. It’s not just a celebration of history. It’s a celebration of the right to self governance. The right to make wrong choices and be responsible for the outcome. Our government is not the giver of rights. They are human rights that exists because people exist. Our “leaders” are our servants not our superiors. (In theory anyway.) Of course once politcs becomes involved things get muddled. Our nation was born in debate and has continued to be in debate ever since. The idea was that our government is the result of a contract between the citizens and as such has no power or authority of its own. But I digress and it’s not my intention to debate political stuff on my blog.

So, it’s time to get to point. Independence Day. We’re often guilty of the idea that it’s only about independence from mother Europe (and by extension the other places where our ancestors originated) but that’s an age old error. The most important thing the independence of the individual. I blog a lot about peaceful moments and personal growth. That’s only possible through personal independence. Personal independence is right and like all rights comes with personal responsibility. Again leaving politics aside , we often find ourselves in times of personal desperation. For some of us it’s social anxiety, for some of us it’s financial crisis and yet for some it’s something else. There’s as many reasons for “personal oppression” as there are individuals on earth. For many of us, we have forged our own chains. They’re made from self doubt and poorly made choices. Let me share something with you. You hold the keys to your own chains. The moment you decide to remove them is your first taste of freedom. It isn’t going to be easy. You’ll be at war with yourself and it will definitely take more than one battle to be completely free. But, if you’re committed to personal independence then it’s a fight worth fighting. I haven’t completely freed myself yet. But every day I gain ground. Every picture I take, every thought I share with you and every dream I have is another volley in my war for personal independence. I know that you can have this too as long as you don’t give up. Whatever chains that are binding you to today let me encourage you to begin to grind them away. Don’t give up. Keep up with it and soon they will be broken. As I celebrate American Independence Day today let me also wish you a happy Personal independence Day! I’m looking forward to seeing your fireworks soon.

Wounded 

We seem to have a tendency to do one of two things when we encounter a person who has been wounded either physically or emotionally.  We either ignore the scar totally or we focus on it completely.  Old wounds ache with a dull throbbing pain as a constant reminder that we messed up somewhere along the way.  I  was a rough child. I seemed to collect scars like merit badges. The stitches in the palm of my hand from a broken jar of fireflies,  the scars on my knees from falling out of a moving pickup truck.  I  even have a  couple of scars from a sword. ( only superficial and skin deep) I have numerous scrapes and scratches from briars and brambles.  All of are a roadmap of my life.  But the only scars I feared to collect were the scars on my soul. Broken bones and torn flesh heals so much faster than a wound of heart. As I approach a half of a century of earthly experience I have observed that to some people it’s the emotional scar that carries the badge of honor. Where I have lived life to it’s fullest and carry the physical marks of my adventures others have loved life and bear the honor of those adventures.  

The image used in this post is a chestnut tree on my old home place. Years ago the metal fencepost was leaned against the trunk temporarily and then we got busy. The wound to the tree was one of neglect.  When I think about the emotional wounds and scars of this world I have to believe that the majority are caused by neglect.  We simply forget to go back and relieve a burden. The person wounded carries that burden until it works it’s way into the soul and becomes a part of them.  It’s okay to remind a person of the burden that they left behind. It’s okay to simply cast off something that’s not supposed to be a part of your life.  It’s wise to avoid the wound.  But if you carry no scars have you really lived? One day this tree will be cut down.  All that will remain will be the wood.  As is a tradition in many rural areas someone will use the wood and the inclusion of  scars will make for a beautiful end product.  So it is with the scars we carry  in the soul. They say that beauty is only skin deep but they are wrong. Beauty comes up from the very depth of the soul. It’s the scars and inclusions that make that beauty unique.