Here we are at the Fourth of July, a time to celebrate freedom and independence. A time to acknowledge the birth of a nation, of stepping out of old ways and constrictions and living differently. In all of our lives the struggle goes on to gain independence and freedom from whatever we feel is oppressing us, taking away our freedom. This is a fight that goes on constantly in all forms in most lives. It’s important, however, to look more deeply at what it truly means to be free and what it is that causes us to feel oppressed and constricted, controlled by others, and the world we live in?

So many lives are taken up by the battle against other people, ideas and circumstances. They are on guard constantly against that which they feel is counter to their beliefs or benefit. They must assert their view and diminish others, gain power of their lives. This state of vigilance, anger and opposition, however, is the very cause of our loss of freedom. It is the very cause of our constriction and distress in life. How can we be joyful, free and independent when we are always ready to fight?

There is A wonderful and simple solution to this bind we live in. Rather than experiencing life as a battle, why not completely turn that around? Stop and taste life fully. See that life is Good. This might be a rather startling statement in this day and age. But when we are truly willing to taste life fully, thoroughly experience all that is brought to us, rather than fight and hate it, everything turns around. We taste life, digest it rather than oppose it. Then we are able to take the nourishment from everything that comes and see hat Life Is Good.

To live with this as our foundation, turns our entire life around. And also the lives of those we interact with. Rather than judge, hate and reject, we are open to greet and welcome all of our experience. And just this attitude alone, brings freedom and independence from constriction and pain.

Author's Bio: 

Brenda Shoshanna, Ph.d. is a psychologist, author and long term Zen practitioner. Her work is dedicated to integrating the principles of Zen, Mindfulness and Psychology with your everyday life. Brenda offers two weekly podcasts, and many audio books with cutting edge information and guidelines to a meaning and fulfilling life.