I love the 4th of July. Not only because I love picnic food, but because freedom is one of my core values. That means when it comes down to the nitty gritty and I must make a decision about whether to do x or y in my life, I hold freedom as one of the lights that guides my path. If something compromises my freedom, it's not worth it to me.
I guess America and I have that in common.
So today, on this day that my country celebrates its freedom from England's rule, I want to share my favorite passage on freedom. It's from a brilliant book I just finished reading, The Zahir, by Paulo Coelho:
I heard other people speaking in the name of freedom, and the more they defended this unique right, the more enslaved they seemed to be to their parents' wishes, to a marriage in which they had promised to stay with the other person "for the rest of their lives," to the bathroom scales, to their diet, to half-finished projects, to lovers to whom they were incapable of saying "No" or "It's over," to weekends when they were obliged to have lunch with people they didn't even like.
Slaves to luxury, to the appearance of luxury, to the appearance of the appearance of luxury. Slaves to a life they had not chosen, but which they had decided to live because someone had managed to convince them that it was all for the best. And so their identical days and nights passed, days and nights in which adventure was just a word in a book or an image on the television that was always on, and whenever a door opened, they would say:
"I'm not interested. I'm not in the mood."
This passage helped me to see that what I used to call freedom was really just irresponsibility or impulsivity. As a 32 year-old woman, I am no longer interested in the adolescent version of freedom. I know now that freedom is not running as fast as I can from anything that smacks of commitment, but running full force toward what I most believe in, and committing myself to it with every cell in my being.
As Paulo Coelho says,
"Freedom is not the absence of commitments, but the ability to choose - and commit myself to - what is best for me."
So I ask you, my friends? To what are you committing yourself to today? And to what will you refuse to be a slave for even one more day?
Step forward and stand for yourself. I can help.
What type of wild woman are you?
Hello! I'm Melanie Munir, founder of Professional Wild Woman - a women's empowerment business dedicated to helping women who are tired of feeling either "too much" or "not enough" to connect to their inner wildness so they can create work that allows them the fullest expression of their unique voice. Welcome!