For those of you living in the United States of America, as you well know, today is the anniversary of our country’s independence from England.
And as usual, I will probably take a different direction and discuss what independence means personally to me and hopefully inspire you to consider what it means to you.
However, as for the holiday, I have very mixed feelings about its celebration…
I’m all for acknowledging how great it is that the founders of this country came together to resist oppressive rule by another nation.
In many ways, I consider myself a revolutionary because I freely speak out against oppressive practices.
In fact, I am very grateful to live in a country which affords me that privilege.
So… on that note, before I launch into the importance of personal independence and freedom…
[clears throat and taps mic]
We, as a country are fucking things up royally and really need to reevaluate our priorities regarding being of service to one another.
We should be ashamed that there are so many people in poverty and without homes and food in this country.
Our (and I know it’s not everybody), but OUR priorities are fucked up!
Please, people… Please…
Let’s start thinking about the bigger picture by remembering that ALL PEOPLE ARE CREATED EQUAL and ensuring the INALIENABLE (unable to be taken away) rights promised by our Declaration of Independence. . .
Not only does this mean that EVERYONE should have freedom, a home, food, and the ability to pursue what makes them happy; it also means that people can celebrate this holiday how they choose…
I am not a big fan of this holiday because of the bravado of beer swirling, explosive-igniting habits of some of my fellow patriots.
I think it’s dangerous and retraumatizes our veterans to set off explosives… not to mention the impact on dogs and the risk for fire.
I accept today that it is your choice to celebrate however the fuck you want – unless you are hurting someone…
Now that I’ve gotten completely off track about what I really wanted to talk about…
Or have I?
Isn’t that the wonderful thing about living in this country, though? I have this platform to basically say whatever the fuck I want.
And today, I am taking some historical, political, critical, and humanitarian themes to make my point that independence is an important topic to apply to your life to…
You guessed it…
THRIVE BEYOND TRAUMA!!!
(see how I did that? 😉 )
And the Horse You Rode In On…
I don’t know why, but since I posted my blog entry (https://greenleaf4life.blog/2022/06/28/new-moon/), I’ve wanted to say to someone (anyone, really), “Fuck you and the horse you rode in on.”
Maybe I should talk to someone about that or get back on my meds?
But in the meantime… let’s throw that dart of randomness in the air and see if it lands on a coherent thought related to independence.
Ahhh! Got it!
Part of learning to thrive beyond trauma and claim independence (which we’ll discuss independence eventually.. I promise), is to find that oppressive voice within.
For many years, it was my father’s voice in my head.
And I mean
I did, said, thought, or felt was wrong.
If I cried, he’d “give [me] a reason to cry.”
If I laughed, it was because I am selfish.
If I talked, it was too fucking much.
If I started anything, well… “Why do we sign you up for stuff? You always quit.”
So pretty much I couldn’t take a shit without it being wrong.
That lovely complex of criticisms eventually became what some refer to as “the inner critic.”
If you’re reading this blog (or are breathing, for that matter), you probably have an inner critic, too.
Welcome to America.
If you didn’t get if from your dear Mum and Daddikins, you probably got it from your peers, TV, movies, or even more pervasive… social fucking media!
Your post only got five likes?!
You must be fat, ugly, stupid, poor, lazy…
In fact, I don’t even know how you live with yourself.
I’m sorry – but that’s the silent Gollum (inner critic) in our heads that we need to thank for sharing, and then kindly ask them to shut the fuck up.
Or, as I have been chomping at the bit to say…
Fuck you and the horse you rode in on!
Didn’t even have anything to do with the asshole in our heads.
The horse is also a socialized victim of the machine, too…
[record needle scratch]
Did I just say, “victim?”
Okay, that word (along with the weird-ass gif above) should get your attention, and quite frankly, bother you…
We are volunteers – NOT VICTIMS!!
Once we become aware of the inner critic and subconscious drive to escape our fears of inadequacy, it becomes a choice to entertain those thoughts.
Today, we have a choice of what voice to listen to…
So, yes, you can tell that inner critic to go fuck itself.
You can say, “Bitch, you ain’t my baby’s mama.”
You can try this pro-tip for some Zen-assed personal growth:
Thank the inner critic for trying to keep you safe all these years.
Give it a hug.
Ask it to take a seat
Offer it some tea…
And then ask someone else in the committee (the one on your head) to come up to the podium and share for a little bit…
Maybe we can hear from the loving parent for a change?
You know, that voice that is proud of you, loves you no matter what you do, and encourages you to do what makes you happy?
We haven’t heard from them in a while.
If you haven’t ever heard from them… make them up with your imagination.
What would your loving, future-self say?
Let’s give them a chance to speak.
I’m Going to Find Myself
Who the fuck are you, and what do you want?
Those are two incredibly simple, yet, difficult questions for many of us to answer.
And they have everything to do with independence.
When I speak of independence, I mean the freedom to be oneself.
For those subjugated to the authority of an inner critic, this business of being oneself is quite elusive.
Although you have a choice today (remember volunteer, not victim), it’s really not your fault.
If you look back to evolution (ruh-roh, he wrote the E-word), part of our species’ survival was “going along to get along” (it’s an idiom, I don’t know who the fuck said that).
As mentioned in my post about needing other’s approval (https://greenleaf4life.blog/2022/05/31/you-dont-need-their-approval-or-do-you/), back in the day of sabretooth tigers and such, if our ancestors did not develop a social instinct and learn to work together, they fucking died.
I mean, they died anyway… obviously.
But those who learned to pool their resources and play nice were able to survive longer.
So… it’s part of our makeup to want the approval of others. We’re sort of programmed that way.
And it’s a good thing, too, because it probably keeps us driving in our own lanes on the highway and from outright murdering each other more.
So… the need to get along has it’s benefits.
Where we have problems is when it interferes with our ability to be ourselves.
An important side note here to address for my socially-aware audience members is that independence is very much a Western world culture.
Other cultures are communal and they do not seek to be themselves.
Their identities are very much a part of the larger group.
But in America, damnit, we celebrate this notion of rugged individuality.
Both independent and communal cultures have their advantages and disadvantages, but for the purpose of this post, I will gently slide (more like cannon ball off the roof) back into my ethnocentric rant.
For the sake of thriving beyond trauma (in this culture), it’s important to realize that yes, we need to get along with the herd…
You’re not going to fucking die if you decide to pursue your interests.
I mean, yeah, you’re gonna die, but probably not immediately from deciding to start a YouTube channel or teach people about nutrition or cat grooming.
If your interests include very dangerous activities, sure, you may die sooner than the cat groomer (that’s debatable), but really, none of us is getting out of this alive…
So what do you want to do with the remaining time you have here?
As I’ve said, if you don’t know that, you’re not alone, and it’s not your fault.
However, now that you’ve read this…
You are alone and it IS your fault!
Do you feel motivated yet?
I didn’t think so.
Okay, so now you need to figure out what the fuck you want to do.
As you go down the rabbit hole of your personal story, you will undoubtedly uncover old wounds and interests.
Peeling away the proverbial onion layers is a process.
I recommend doing it with a guide, a mentor, a donkey, a therapist, a life coach [insert shameless plug], etc.
As you navigate the twists and turns of your story, you will discover who you are.
When you start to figure out what you want, it will give your life purpose.
Some theorists (including yours truly), believe you cannot be truly happy without purpose.
Find out what you want, you’ll figure out why you’re here, and it will give your life meaning.
If you feel depressed and like you have no direction in your life, you are right!
If you have purpose and know what you want to do, you are also right.
It’s okay to be uncertain.
All you need to do is set the intention to figure out who you are and what you want, and you will be well on your way.
Write that shit down!
Take out a piece of paper and a pen.
And write, “I don’t know who I am or what I want right now, but I will find out.”
Read that shit out loud while looking in the mirror.
Tape that note to your mirror so you see it every day.
You will find a way.
And I will help you if need be.
Own That Shit!
The longer I pursue this life of chasing my dreams and trying to come up with shit to write, the more I realize I just gotta be me.
If I sit here and think about tailoring my writing and podcasts to an imaginary audience, then I dilute the fucking message.
My heart tells me to be authentic and tell it how it fucking is.
Yes, it’s scary at times.
Yes, the inner critic whispers in my fucking ear that no one wants to read or listen to this bullshit.
And then there’s the belief in my cause that says, “Fuck those fucking fucks, I’ll do what I want!”
I’ve done the work I keep telling you all to do.
I’ve written my life story over and over and over again.
I’ve looked at it from several different angles with the help of people who were supportive and willing to hurt my feelings.
I’ve got a fair idea of who the fuck I am, what my weaknesses are, and what I want in life.
I also know I do not have all the answers, and there are parts of me I ignore or deny and need help seeing.
I continue to do the work… It’s a lifelong journey!
I am not fucking perfect.
And that is not the goal!
I am perfectly imperfect!
I love who I am!
I love writing this shit!
I quit my fucking job so I can focus more on helping people to thrive beyond trauma.
Sure, I stumble and fall just like the next person.
I get the fuck back up.
I keep going!
I know I write some weird-ass shit that mostly makes me laugh (and cry sometimes).
I also know that my goal is to reach some fucking people and help them improve the quality of their lives – just as I am experiencing now!
My independence is the freedom to be me and pursue my happiness.
Just like the Declaration of Fucking Independence says…
I get to speak out for people who are marginalized and do not get to enjoy that freedom because of oppression in this country.
My privilege affords me a fucking voice, and I’ll be damned if I’m not going to use the motherfucker until I die or am silenced somehow.
It does not matter what anyone else thinks about my calling.
I believe in it and that’s all that matters.
Someone asked me if I’m making any money doing this gig yet.
No, I’m not….
And it doesn’t matter.
I do this because I love it.
Do what you love and the money will follow.
Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.
I own my fucking story, idiosyncrasies, strengths, and weaknesses.
And I practice independence of the spirit by chasing my dreams and serving others.
Today is a good day to live.
Today is a good day to die.
Own that shit!
This is not the blog post I expected to write, and it’s the one you got.
And I love it just the way it is…
Do you know why?
Because it’s me.
I have embraced the inner critic, thanked him for trying to keep me safe, and have learned to listen to my spirit and inner loving parent.
The majority of my inner committee believes in me.
I am independent today because I am free to be me regardless of what others may think, say, or do.
Independence is a mindset.
Learn to love your life.
Learn to love your story.
Learn to love your ideas and desires.
Learn to love your fears and pain.
Own that shit!
And if others don’t like it…
Fuck them and the horse they rode in on!
Thank you for reading this Independence Day special edition of Greenleaf4Life – Thrive Beyond Trauma. It has been a pleasure sharing my journey with you. 🙂 Please like, follow, comment, and reach out.
Tomorrow, I will be releasing the details of a life coaching package I offer. If you want to start living a life of purpose and happiness, this package is for you!
Be sure to check out the latest episode of my podcast, Greenleaf4Life. It’s on all major podcasting platforms. Below is the link to the Spotify version.
Check me out on Instagram @greenleaf_4_life and TikTok @greenleaf4life