Wednesday Wisdom: Independence

Independence Day is tomorrow. As a woman, I’m inspired by the concepts of independence and freedom as personal rights to hold sacred. To break away from the mindsets that diminish and erase our worth requires a metamorphosis from groupthink to individuality, silence to confession, denial to courage.

Freedom is earned when we face our worst selves—our fears, shames, and silences. Hidden stories provide clues to the wounds we carry, scars of a previous life, or perhaps, an ongoing drama that requires our truest and most courageous voice.

As a girl, I used to play ‘Opposites’ with my sisters. The game would last half a day, or maybe ten minutes, depending on the moods and activity in the house. It was a simple game, requiring a shift in response, from ‘Yes’ to ‘No’, or its opposite, ‘No’ to ‘Yes’. The objective was to trick each other in timing, voice intonation, and observation, waiting for the other to be distracted enough to lose their focus before posing a question. Requiring us to answer the opposite, we’d lose if we answered the truth.

It was a manipulative game. Girls grow up, and I know now that living in false pretenses is a script to override with honesty. Independence is a permission we grant ourselves to be our most vulnerable, wounded, and scarred individual, to expose our humanity in a sacred offering of flaws and mental and emotional illnesses, and to expect shared honor of our worth in everything we pursue.

While Americans celebrate freedom tomorrow, I will remember and honor the silent women of history whose voices were never heard, whose yearning for education was never an option, and whose truths were never exposed. This invisible force drives me to share my story with the hope that resonance will ignite courage. Together, we can make beautiful explosions against the dark.

Wishing you all a safe and grateful holiday.

Love, Barbie

Photo by Erwan Hesry

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