Write Your Personal Declaration of Independence

by Patricia Spadaro

“The beginning and the end reach out their hands to each other.” —Chinese proverb

A new article I wrote called “Endings Are Just Beginnings was published this weekend on the Heal Your Life website. It talks about 4 ways to say goodbye to regrets and honor the endings in your life.  I realized just how unexpectedly apropos this was for the Fourth of July weekend, which celebrates a courageous ending that made way for a grand new beginning.

Here’s something to think about to really bring that spirit of freedom home to your own heart: What will you declare YOUR independence from today?

What’s the tyrant that is holding you back from being all you can be? Is it a not-so-healthy habit you want to let go of? A stifling job? A toxic relationship? Someone who is pushing you in a direction that isn’t right for you? Is it your need to always be right when interacting with others? Constantly living in the past or blaming yourself for situations that aren’t totally under your control? Or the debilitating habit of saying yes to everyone else instead of drawing boundaries and saying yes yourself?

What will you declare your independence from today? It’s an important question that deserves some deep contemplation and, even better, a written commitment where you sign on the dotted line. Think of this as creating your own personal Independence Day—the day you vow to cut the tie, the day you declare your liberation from whatever or whomever is crushing that part of you that wants to fly.

Tips for writing your personal Declaration of Independence:

  • Be honest with yourself: Name something (or someone) that is holding you back from fully being yourself.
  • Write out your personal Declaration of Independence from this inner or outer tyrant with firm commitment and passion.
  • In your declaration, state exactly what you are committing to be free from and why this is important to you. What will you be able to accomplish by liberating yourself from this yoke?
  • You can also write that you are inviting and welcoming into your life all the support (physical, emotional, and/or spiritual) that you need to stick to your pledge of freedom.
  • Then write down the specific actions you will commit to in order to see this through to the finish.
  • Date and sign your declaration.
  • This can be the start of a new thrust for you, especially when you see this declaration as a pledge—a promise to yourself that you will choose to cut yourself free from the negative habit or toxic tie because it is dragging you down—even smothering you—rather than raising you up.  Sure, it might take some work.  But the commitment, in tangible form, is the essential first step.

    The Scottish mountaineer W. H. Murray once wrote: “The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.”

    Commit to your freedom today from one key thing that isn’t helping you thrive. See how it feels, and see what happens next. A new beginning is waiting for you.

    More resources:
    —Honoring and accepting endings is so important that in my book Honor Yourself: The Inner Art of Giving and Receiving I devoted four chapters to the subject of freeing yourself and honoring endings.

    —See my new article:  Endings Are Just Beginnings:  How to move beyond breakups, layoffs, and unspoken words with 4 ways to say goodbye to your regrets


    10 Ways to Release Regrets

    by Patricia Spadaro

    Facing an unwanted ending or a painful memory—or know someone who is struggling to recover from a loss?

    Endings can be tough on the heart and soul.  Lay-offs, break-ups, or sudden, unexpected life changes can throw us off balance and make us feel unsure about ourselves and our future. When someone or something pulls the rug out from under you, you may find yourself drowning in a caldron of emotions, anything from grief and remorse to anger, fear, or blame.

    Whether you’ve experienced a recent loss or are struggling with an ending you’ve never come to terms with, you can move forward more quickly by finding effective ways to release regrets.

    Learn 10 important ways to honor endings so you can find closure gracefully, get past the pain, and open the door to new beginnings:  Click here to read my new feature on saying goodbye to regrets on Beliefnet.com

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