What I'm Declaring Independence From


On this Independence Day, I am inspired as I read the Declaration of Independence I shared here on the blog exactly two years ago.  Two summers ago, I experienced a few losses and with them came many overwhelming emotions.  So in an attempt to regain mental clarity, I wrote a blog post to "declare independence" so to speak, from several things that were plaguing my well-being, such as anxiety, worry, stress, unhealthy relationships, and an unhealthy lifestyle.  Looking back on that post made me smile, because I have made great progress over the last two years.   Rereading the document also made me realize that I still have a long way to go in other areas of my life.  Here's what I'm declaring independence from now.

I DECLARE INDEPENDENCE FROM

Thoughts of inferiority...  There are times that I do believe that I'm just not good enough.  I'm not good enough to be considered for this, or I'm not pretty enough to be considered for that. I'm not smart enough to do this and I'm not brave enough to follow through with that.  I believe that this happens with all of us every now and again.  And almost always, this limiting belief stems from past experiences.  We may have received disapproval from someone we loved or admired.  Or perhaps, like in my case, we have disappointed people who thought so highly of us.  Knowing I've disappointed those I love and admire has a stronger impact on my life than I've cared to admit.  I've refrained from taking risks in my life because the suffocating fear of failing and further disappointing others was unbearable.  And I've never shared this with anyone, until today as I type.

So I now realize that I must create new messages to replace those old tapes I have playing in my mind.  One self-love exercise that has been helping me was a suggestion from fellow blogger Daja of No Boiz Allowed.  She prompted that followers of her fan page list 50 things they loved about themselves.    So in listing 50 things I love about myself, along with reading and reciting positive affirmations daily, I am wiping that inferiority complex away from my life!

I DECLARE INDEPENDENCE FROM

Unhealthy sacrifice...  Oftentimes, because of my "inferior" frame of thinking, I believe that I must always  go that extra mile for others.  It is as if I must do something "extra" because I don't deserve a particular treatment (like love, affection, or acceptance).  In turn, I tend to stretch myself beyond reasonable means for others simply so they know that I love and care for them.  Even if it's out of my realm of possibility.  I think this is why I have a big problem telling folks "no" as well.

It wasn't until I recently read an article on Oprah's website, that I realized I was making unhealthy sacrifices.  I also realized that not having my "sacrifices" reciprocated by loved ones was causing me to become bitter and cold towards them.  I love bringing happiness into the lives of those I love, but I burst at the seams whenever these same people are not able to show concern whenever I am not in a happy space.  And as I continued to read this article I found that I do not have to be the caregiver in all of my relationships.  I don't have to say yes when I really mean no.  I will find balance in my relationships with others and always make sure to take care of myself first!

I DECLARE INDEPENDENCE FROM

Dream Killers...  More than anything, I appreciate a friend that keeps me level-headed.  You know, the ones who will be honest with you and tell you that your "fly-by-night" get-rich-quick scheme just isn't gonna work the way you imagine it.  Or even ones that will tell you that your "game plan" needs a little work.  But what I don't need nor appreciate is a dream killer.

During times that you are reaching for success and attaining your goals, you may find that others are threatened.  And sometimes, these "others" can be your close friends or family members.  They will say things to sabotage your dreams because they don't want your success to surpass theirs.  So in order to keep my momentum going with the chasing of my dream, I am making the decision to surround myself with positive individuals who can inspire me, nurture my dreams, and don't mind sharing their creative thoughts and experiences with me.  And I am saying goodbye to those naysayers.

I DECLARE INDEPENDENCE FROM

Mistakes made in the past...  I have done a good job with forgiving others and letting go of things folks have done to me in the past.  I share a bit about that in my past post about forgiving others.  Yet still, I have the most trouble forgiving myself.  Isn't that ironic?  Why is it that we can more easily forgive someone else than we can forgive ourselves?

I will begin practicing forgiveness by visiting those mistakes I've made in my past and forgiving myself for making them.  I must realize that no one is perfect, so in living life we all go through learning processes in which mistakes will be made.  I must also take the time to let the wounds left from my mistakes heal, rather than deny that these wounds are disrupting my daily thoughts and actions.

and lastly, I AM STILL DECLARING INDEPENDENCE FROM

Anxiety...  I will remember and recite 2 Timothy 1:7 (one of my favorite Bible verses) until fear no longer numbs me.  "For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."  I have often allowed fear to block many blessings and opportunities in my life and I am tired of allowing it.  It is a trick of the devil and I will no longer allow it to paralyze me.  I have too much work to do here!  And I can't let something like fear stop me!

I plan to replace each of these strongholds with love, prayer, and faith.  I believe in myself and know that I am responsible for creating and maintaining my own joy and mental clarity. I wish you all a blessed Independence Day and I hope that you all obtain freedom from any bondage that is affecting your lives.

WHAT WILL YOU BE DECLARING INDEPENDENCE FROM?

For a real treat, check out the amazing Tiphani Montgomery's Fourth of July Manifesto by clicking the link.  She is truly an inspiration to me and her post (which was actually written on today, her birthday) could not have come at a better time.  If you check it out, feel free to tell me what you think of it in the comments =)
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