This year Independence Day finds me, like many others, with a lot of mixed feelings about freedom and the actions of our country. The focus on our founding and the inception of our nation, brings up white supremacy, patriarchy and a multitude of inhumane policies and actions. There are not enough fireworks and potato salad to blur the vivid portrait of all the aspects of our founding that were the complete antithesis of the democracy and freedom portrayed in the documents of our beginning. “All people” did not include all people and the path to inclusion is bitter and long and painful and not complete.
So, I choose to look at the freedom of Radical Wholeness. Made in the image and likeness of that universal energy we refer to as God, each of us bears the divine imprint of our creator. That which is within is our essence and is equally whole within each one. The radical element of Radical Wholeness is that every single incarnational vehicle, every body, is equally valuable and an expression of the divine within. Every shape, size, skin color, gender identity, sexuality, and ability is just as perfectly human as every other one. Equally divine and uniquely human, no one comes into the world to be fixed or healed. No one’s body is a manifestation of a spiritual failure. God is not a person but if it was, there would be no picture on God’s wall of what the favorite, whole and complete, offspring looks like. Instead, we would all be on God’s wall; each one of us the beloved, favorite child.
If there is no singular image nor standard, we are all intent on shaping ourselves into, then each of us is free to be “the best me!” We are free from comparison. I don’t need to aspire to the looks or success measures or values or performance of anyone else because I am not that person. I am free from the anger or shame which arises when I perceive I am lacking because there is no lack in my unique wholeness. I can release any perception of lack as false and let the anger or shame go with it. This can actually be a challenge, because we often internalize some of the judgmental standards of the systems that oppress us. For me, it is letting go of the Ableist ideals that I have to be productive, exhibit physical stamina and constantly on the go to have worth. I take the challenge to claim my freedom to be who I am in this moment.
There is always this tension between accepting myself as I am and challenging myself to be the best me I can be. I have to examine if the best me I am aiming for is being shaped by ableist ideals (or it may be other standards for you) or simply my guidance on ways to be more authentically the expression of Spirit I came here to be. No one can take away my freedom to be me but I can imprison myself in false beliefs and comparisons. This Independence Day I claim the freedom of Radical Wholeness and celebrate me. I invite you to celebrate the freedom to be you as we work together, until everyone feels celebrated and free.