I am releasing this blog on July 4, 2018. A big American holiday when we celebrate independence. As a child who was raised near where the first shot of the Revolutionary War was fired, I’ve always been excited about celebrating people’s ability to rise up and stand on their own. Which is why, I chose July 4th as a day to officially declare myself independent. On July 4th, 2015, I chose to officially declare my independence from my then husband and from my biological family by doing something I never thought I’d do: I got a tattoo! The word WARRIOR is permanently and proudly marked on my wrist. I chose warrior for two main reasons. One, for me to remember my hard-fought battle for independence for me and my three sons. Two, to remind me in future difficult times, that I have a reservoir of strength and power that will serve me whatever life throws my way.
My post today is not to re-hash what got me to the point of moving out from my 19-year marriage or why I chose to release myself from my biological family. All relationships are between two people and I am fully aware of my role in the dissolvement of these relationships. This post is about independence and its’ importance. Until my independence day, I was dependent on others for my happiness and my wellbeing. Similar to the early American Colonies, I was following someone else’s rules when living my life. I spent the first part of my life doing what I thought I ‘should’ be doing, following some rule book, or life checklist, that someone else had written: Get good grades. Go to college. Get married. Have kids.
The problem is that I never stopped to think about what I was all about. Who was Susie? What did she like to do? What are her gifts? What lights her up? At some point in my 30s, I became aware of a low-level hum of discontent. As if there was another rule in my “life rulebook” that would make everything clear.
I tried to keep my mind off of this low-level hum of discontent. I scheduled my day so full that I didn’t have time to pay attention to it. I exercised to run away from it. I stuffed food in my mouth to stuff down the emotions. I told myself that I had no right to be unhappy. There was nothing “wrong” here. I had followed all the rules so everything must be “fine”, right?
Around that time, I started a part time job. I met new people. I started to do things because I liked them, not because I read somewhere that I should or someone else told me I should. I started volunteering in an organization because I wanted to. I started to say no to things I didn’t want to do. For me, this was a radically different way of living. Was it welcomed by the people around me? Those who had set the rules? No. I faced a lot of resistance from my parents, sisters and my then husband. I was consistently told that they wanted the “old Susie” back. But that’s okay. Historically, independence is usually not easily achieved.
The thing was, I felt better than I had in my entire life. I was doing more of what I enjoyed and less of what I didn’t. Because of this, I was a better mom. I was less reactive and more patient. Instead of looking to someone else or some magazine for guidance as to which rule to follow, I looked inside. I learned to listen to my inner voice, what I call my inner warrior, and that has revolutionized every single aspect of my life. In getting to know my inner warrior, I began my voyage of independence. As I learned about myself and my abilities, my life expanded. I felt better. I gained strength.
My life has taught me many lessons and one of the most important is that I alone am responsible for my life and my happiness. As an adult, I am independent. It is not up to my husband, my father, or my mother to make me happy or provide for me. I am in charge of that. There was no knight in shining armor coming to rescue me. I don’t need one. I have me and I am a warrior. My life has been exactly as it was supposed to be. I had the exact parents I was meant to have to become the woman I am today. I had the exact first marriage I needed to have to move forward into the most fulfilling relationship of my life. Nothing has gone wrong here. Life happens for us, not to us. When we stand tall as our independent selves, taking responsibility for our life and our experience here on earth, we experience true freedom. I wish you, my dear warrior reader, a very happy independence day. If you feel restricted or weighed down in any area of your life, please contact me so I can help you feel more liberated. You are here to enjoy this one life you have. Your independence and strength, buoys us all. Courage, dear one. I am here for you.
I help women set their inner warriors free by empowering them in their relationships. Relationships with food. Relationships with money. Relationships with others. Slow down and listen. What is your inner warrior whispering?