Independence Day means so much to so many. First and foremost it’s about the brave men and women who have fought for our freedom. The number of people effected by the loss of loved ones who fought and lost their lives or were wounded in so many battles is breathtaking and we owe then an everlasting debt of gratitude.

How independent and free are you? 

But for the sake of the column, let’s look at independence in a new way. How independent and free are you? Are you free from debt? Are you free from pain? Are you free from dysfunctional relationships? If we look around the world today the majority, including the richest in the top one-percent, feel pretty anchored to parts of their lives that lack aliveness and joy. It feels as if there is one huge mountain to climb after the other. The truth is, there is only one big mountain to climb. And, believe it or not, under every other feeling including anger, resentment or hopelessness, that mountain is simply…FEAR! And in our exhaustion, soon we begin to believe this is all there is.

Whether you are an insecure over-achiever, an Instagram addict, a Facebook fanatic or an email emissary, or if you just sit and read books alone, unless you are filled with joy over being any of these or doing any of these to the extreme, you are looking at your next mountain you need to climb in order to become truly independent and at the base of it, is fear.

Fear is an emotional response induced by a perceived threat that is almost always not real. Fear can lead us to a flight, fight or freeze response that causes us to hide, run away, or to give up. Fear may arise from a confrontation, from avoiding a threat, from someone else’s idea of who we are or are not, and from our own insecurities. Or, it may come from a discovery, such as we find out we are really great at art or public speaking. Suddenly that chill up the spine comes loud and clear with the question “What now?”

Actually, most fear, is not based on reality. It stems from some experience in the pasts. For instance, a realistic fear such as trying to run across the freeway at 5 p.m. is valid. However, the majority of fear, such as the fear of success or falling in love, is nothing more than rapidly moving molecules of energy that have no power other than the power you give it.

Before you come to this planet, you decide what your assignment will be and if you accept that assignment and be who you came here to be and do what you came here to do, out of that you create a moral or spiritual legacy that lives on in everyone whose life you touch, long after you leave the planet. 

The spiritual heroes or heroines in our lives are those people who stand up, speak out, teach and role model the values and ethics by which they live. Think for a minute about the people in your life whom you most trust and value. They are the real people who tell you the truth with compassion and own their own mistakes without hesitation.

As Kermit the frog says, “It’s not easy being green.” And neither is it always easy to be a spiritual hero. However, here’s a little secret it’s much easier than NOT being the one you came here to be. When you are not fulfilling your purpose, there is always a sense of disappointment inside, a longing for what is real and the spiritual power that you know is just an arms-length and one decision away. Here’s another comforting truth. It really doesn’t matter when you begin to be your true self, so even if you are in your 80’s it’s not too late to start now. It only matters that you start. Now some of you might use that as an excuse to postpone stepping into your power, but remember that is also postponing your joy.

 Clearly, independence is a gift we give ourselves and those we love the moment we decide, nothing matters more than standing in our own truth and integrity. The moment you get that you also will understand that no one can give us anything that we are not first willing to give to ourselves. It’s easy to forget that none of us is independent until we all are!


Dr. Dina is a Marriage, Family, and Child Therapist and Consciousness Counselor. She has presented nationwide seminars and workshops, written several books and created meditation CDs for couples, individual and mental health professionals. She has also won national acclaim as a human rights advocate. Visit www.drdinaevan.comor call her at 602 571-8228.