Are you exercising all of your freedoms? Those in the U.S. enjoy certain liberties that are ours because we, as a people, declared our independence from our parent country over two hundred years ago. As individuals, however, many people still suffer under the tyranny of their family of origin. This dysfunction exists in most families and is inherited from generation to generation. If individual personhood isn’t declared, it can limit our potential as individuals.
Family therapist Virginia Satir came up with five freedoms that people enjoy once they’ve declared a personal independence from the dysfunction they inherited from their family of origin.
1) The freedom to see and hear what is here. Instead of only being able to see and hear what was, what will be, or what “should” be.
Ask yourself: Am I truly present in this moment? or do I wallow in past hurts in past pain, disappointment, and regreor (worse) fearfully look to the future?
2) The freedom to feel what you feel. Instead of feeling what you “should” feel or what others tell you to feel.
3) The freedom to say what you feel and think. Instead of only being able to say what you “should” feel and think or what one is expected to feel and think.
4) The freedom to participate in getting your needs met by asking for what you want. Instead of silencing your wants and waiting for permission.
5) The freedom to take risks on your own behalf. Instead of choosing to be secure by not “rocking the boat”.
The freedom to see, hear, feel, think, say, ask, and risk whatever is actually on your heart is Powerful, Beautiful, Possible — not always easy to achieve.
To struggle with this in one’s own family is a natural part of growing up and becoming mature. Many spend an entire lifetime and never attempt it, let alone achieve it.
If you haven’t already, I’d like to encourage you to declare your own individual personhood so you too can exercise and enjoy all of the freedoms afforded to you by living as your own person. This doesn’t mean a disregard for the feelings and well-being of others, it simply means the freedom to not be ruled by them.
Make this declaration to yourself. Write it down, post it on a mirror, read it aloud to yourself every morning:
“I (insert your name), declare individual personhood. I declare my freedom to see what I see, the way I see it, without editing. I declare my freedom to feel my feelings, just as they are, not as I’ve been told they “should” be. I declare my freedom to express those feelings without censorship simply to avoid being unpopular. I declare my freedom to speak to my needs, to advocate for myself, and to make requests on my own behalf without waiting for somebody else to do it for me. I declare my freedom to take healthy risks on my own behalf without the fear of making waves.
I declare all of these freedoms as my birthrights, granted to me by virtue of my individual personhood. I will no longer be afraid to disrupt the status quo. I feel confident that as I live these freedoms, I will inspire others to do the same.”
Now that’s a thought, isn’t it?
I’ve developed a printable checklist to help you stay mindful of your efforts.