Writing a personal declaration of independence all started with my high school English teacher, Mr. Greenman. He had us write our own version of the infamous 1776 letter in which we say we are free of something. When I wrote mine, I wrote about freedom from spending holidays with dysfunctional relatives. I think I chose the topic after dealing with a particularly difficult holiday season, but I really don’t remember now. The class voted on the best Declaration and mine ended up winning. Guess I wasn’t the only one with family issues.
Since then, I’ve taken the time on July 4 to declare my own personal independence from something. I haven’t done it every year, and I don’t always remember to write them down, but more and more I’m realizing the significance of keeping a record of these declarations. Like our Founding Fathers, we need to have a tangible reminder of what we are saying we will no longer tolerate, whether it’s in our leaders or ourselves.
So, as I did in 2007, I’ve taken the original text from the Declaration of Independence and modified or paraphrased it to suit my purposes.
There are moments, in the course of human events, when it becomes necessary for a person to dissolve the real and imagined bonds tying them down. In an attempt to recognize and allow for the opinions of others, a person should declare the reasons why they need to break these ties.
Some truths are self-evident: everyone is created equal, and everyone has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We set up governments to secure these rights, but there comes a point where government can only do so much. This doesn’t mean we should suffer in silence; rather, it is our right and duty to create and provide new ways of self-governing. Ultimately, it’s up to the individual how to live his or her life and make the best of their time in this world.
Such has been the case for me, Corinne, and such is now the necessity which requires me to alter my behavior and ways of thinking. To prove this, I submit these facts to the World Wide Web.
- I have behaved as if the answers lie somewhere other than within myself, when I know, and have had shown to me time and again, that I have all the answers I need if I am only willing to be still and listen.
- I have gotten caught up in memories of the past and fantasies of the future and forgotten to just be present.
- I have made myself wrong and the victim of self-inflicted emotional and mental violence for my state of paid employment or lack thereof.
Therefore, I, Corinne, solemnly publish and declare, that I am and of right ought to be the best version of myself in every moment; that I am absolved from all allegiance to the past or the unknown future, and that all connection between my self-worth and the state of my employment ought to be totally dissolved; and that as a free and independent woman, I have full power to be at peace, find my inner truth, live in abundance, and to do all other acts and things which anyone can do.
And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, I pledge to myself and the world my renewed commitment to be the best me that I can possibly be.
What are you declaring your independence from this year?