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Freedom holds personal meanings ...

fireworks light up the night sky
fireworks light up the night sky
Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images

Suddenly we are feeling Summer descend upon us - in the western half of the country we are experiencing scorching temperatures, wildfires and drought. In the eastern half we have torrential rains, flooding and the first tropical storm to receive this year's first name. Weather-wise, we are not feeling the freedom we would enjoy expressing.

In California, neighborhoods are buzzing with plans for shady picnics and barbeques - for parades and fireworks displays. Some of us take special care that our pets don't get spooked by the noises, while at the same time we anticipate the excitement the children will express. Along the eastern seaboard brave souls have "battened down the hatches" to ride out any storm that thinks its scary enough to ruin their holiday plans.

All of this can disguise the deeper meaning of the holiday... and the deeper meaning of Freedom itself. But today - our Independence Day - July Fourth brings with it an awareness of the freedom we take for granted - the independence we declared two hundred and thirty-eight years ago.

We share the energies of those who have gone before us when we awaken to our own awareness of freedoms we experience. Some of us are free from worries that held us down just a month ago. Some have gotten free from health issues; some are free from financial troubles; and others are free from an old habit that robbed us of our purpose in life.

Yes, some of us are still burdened by thoughts and things that are holding us back from the freedom we seek. But if we look deep within we are able to recognize that we are free in other ways. That's the beginning of uncovering the meaning of a personal freedom we each can claim.

Gina Husser shared an email today that struck a note along these lines:

"For me, true freedom is finally owning
your truth, heeding those whispers
that come from within, those nudges that say,
"THIS is who you are and
what you are meant to do!"
If you can learn to hear your source,
and not only hear it, but follow its advice,
true freedom and all that comes with it -
joy, abundance, purpose - naturally flow to you.
It's about connecting to your unique story,
embracing it, sharing it, casting out your gifts
with faith, enthusiasm and gratitude.
Time freedom and financial freedom
are a natural result of finding
and living your truth!"

Silent Unity's calendar page for July speaks along a parallel thought, sharing a reminder of one of Jesus' miracles in Acts 3:8:

"Jumping up, he stood and began to walk, and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God."

Can you imagine how the man felt when Jesus told him to let go of the things in his life that were holding him back - the crutches, the lowly bed, the attitude of being 'less than' that weighted down his thoughts?

And can you imagine the way he felt - leaping for joy and praising the Lord? The final words for the calendar are written across the picture of fireworks in the night sky: "Come home to ... Joy."

That's our message to take into our daily meditation and prayers - the gratitude that we are free and unlimited - that the chains that appear to hold us back can be dispelled through the truth of who we are - in discovering our true purpose and realizing that we have our own gifts to share - we can be grateful and joyous. Go ahead, take a leap!