“We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; . . .”
~ Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Robert R. Livingston, and Roger Sherman
The above popular quote from the Declaration of Independence written by the Committee of 5 on July 4, 1776 and signed by 56 Congressional delegates on August 2, 1776 reflected a hard won independence and freedom for our country. Today, I realize how much I’ve taken my freedoms for granted. In fact, I feel like I’ve only just awakened to a deeper truth that not everyone enjoys the same freedoms that I do. If all men/women are created equal then why do we still treat people who we perceive are different from us with prejudice? Whether it’s the color of someone’s skin, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or gender – inequality persists.
For too many years there has been a culture of domination, power over others, separation, and racism in our country. I know this is true and the inequities are coming into the light for all of us to see. Opportunities to change feel overwhelming at times and yet I am hopeful that there are ways of creating more freedom and equality for everyone. Buddha tells us, “No one outside ourselves can rule us inwardly. When we know this, we become free.” I’ve written before, that first, we must change within ourselves before things in our outer world can change. I believe this is more true than ever before. Ask, “What beliefs do I still hold that prevent me from being free?” Yes, we have many freedoms compared to others but until we hold our fellow human beings as equals standing shoulder to shoulder with one another we do not have true freedom in our world.
Another symbol that represents freedom and equality to me is the welcoming Statue of Liberty. On her pedestal is a plaque with the famous quote from Emma Lazarus’ sonnet, The Colossus, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” All are equal and welcome she tells us!
Now is the perfect time to change. It’s begun. “The Times They Are a Changing” written and sung by Bob Dylan, American singer-songwriter, author, and Nobel Prize recipient tells us, “Come gather ‘round, people where ever you roam and admit that the waters around you have grown. And accept it that soon you’ll be drenched to the bone if your time is worth savin’. And you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone for the times they are a-changin’.” Timeless wisdom, yes? The times they are changing and the real question for each of us is, “Am I willing to change?” Then, “What am I willing to change?”
The Fourth of July has always been front and center for me. Why? It’s the day I was born! My mom always called me her “firecracker”. BBQ with friends and watching fireworks at the end of the day was a treat. This year celebrations will be different due to COVID-19 and other unrest.
Although I’m not hosting a BBQ with friends this year I realize that self-reflection is one of the many blessings I’ve enjoyed during this “stay at home” time. How about you? What are you willing to change within you to be free?
I will be channeling Luminus and the Messengers of Light on Tuesday,
July 14th and 28th, 2020 from 2p-3:30p AZ time. On July 21st we will offer a 1 hour healing experience with the Messengers of Light from 6p-7p.
Each session will be offered via Zoom and recorded. Check out the ways you can join – individual sessions, donation, or the new Be Inspired option. If you are interested in participating or receiving the recordings please register at victoriabarna.com.