July 4th was not only the country's holiday, but it could also be a good day to declare your independence, your freedom from despair, defeat and depression.
July 4th is known for flag-waving, parade-going and red-white-and-blue-wearing. This year declare your own personal Independence Day. Unsheathe faith, the true weapon of despair, and its cousin action - because without action, faith is dead. Believe you can improve and then act on that belief. It's been six months now since you made all those New Year's resolutions--remember them? Shake them out, dust them off, and recommit to a better you.
Do the right thing for you. In debt? Re-order your financial priorities and pay yourself first, because saving a little beats owing a lot. Retreat from the financial edge. Toni Braxton, for example, beat bankruptcy not so much with a financial plan - which she had - but also with a personal plan. She told me, "I learned I had to believe in myself and not just be comfortable with the opinions of others." She says she had gotten too comfortable with other people's opinions on her life. How did she change all that? She filed her own personal declaration of independence and is now, she says, a smarter and stronger person, in control of her career and life. You can do it too!
In a bad relationship? It's Independence Day from drama! Don't let toxic relationships or toxic people sap your energy, steal your joy and turn your body, mind or home into a toxic dump. If it can't be saved, recycled, or counseled - release it. As Alice Walker says, "No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow." Pioneering Black actress Etta Moten Barnett said, “the only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth.”
Do you need to spend more quality time with loved ones? Do it! Read one story, have one lunch, see one movie--together. Start small and it adds up. You want to lose weight? It's Independence Day! Take July 4 and fall back on the wagon to healthy living. Buy some vegetables - and eat them! It's summer - try outdoor exercises, like long walks, tennis and swimming.
This July, while the country is celebrating freedom, celebrate your personal Independence Day!