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Today is Independence Day. A day we celebrate our freedom as a country.

Merriam-Webster defines the word freedom as:

: the quality or state of being free: such as

a : the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action

b : liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another : independence

c : the quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous freedom from care

d : the quality of being frank, open, or outspoken (answered with freedom)

h : boldness of conception or execution

: a political right

As the definition shows, the word freedom means more than just a political right. It has me thinking, what does freedom really mean to me?

Sure we enjoy our freedoms as a country - freedom of speech, freedom of religion, etc. Hopefully we never take those freedoms for granted or carelessly allow them to be stripped away.

But what does freedom really mean to you. Maybe today can be a celebration of more than just the independence of our nation.

Maybe freedom means freedom from self doubt. Freedom from bearing the opinions of others on your shoulders. Freedom from the perception that we have to be perfect. Freedom from constantly caring for others needs, while neglecting our own. Freedom from the guilt we feel when we take time for self care. Freedom from fear-based decisions.

Maybe freedom means the gratitude you feel every day when you wake up. Or the love you feel for your family, friends and pets. A long hike appreciating all that nature has to offer. Acknowledging the personal growth that you’ve accomplished.

Maybe freedom means standing in your truth. Letting go of the fear of expressing yourself and letting your voice be heard. Maybe freedom is finally living your authentic life.

Whatever freedom means to you, raise a glass and toast to freedom today...and every day.

Happy Independence our nation...and to each of you!

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