Nearly all of us—99% at the very least—were wounded far more than we realize, and these unrecognized wounds have determined in great measure how we have lived the rest of our lives. For a great deal more on this subject, read the book Real Love and PCSD—found in our bookstore here.
These wounds tie us so severely and thoroughly to a pattern of lies, incorrect perceptions, and distorted feelings and behaviors that effectively we live in a prison created long before we can recall the building of it. Who would voluntarily agree to a lifetime of false imprisonment in a conventional prison of bars, concrete, and razor wire? And yet we are entirely satisfied—albeit consciously unaware of our decision—to remain in an emotional prison all our lives. It’s quite insane, but if we don’t recognize the prison of our lives, how can we ever walk free?
In 1776 the Declaration of Independence of the as-yet-unborn nation of the United States stated that “. . . in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them . . .”
The Founding Fathers believed that they had to declare independence from the nation that had imprisoned and mistreated them for nearly a century and a half. Similarly, nearly all of us are in a position where we must declare our intention to become separated from the beliefs and behaviors of those who have imprisoned and distorted us all our lives.
This declaration of our emotional independence sounds like an obvious step that must be taken as quickly and completely as possible, but there is an obstacle that we fail to recognize and that keeps us imprisoned. Continuing from the Declaration of Independence of 1776: “All experience has shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”
This is the formal, stilted language of lawyers, so allow me to translate: “Experience has proven that even if our long-established condition is hurtful and destructive, we human beings are more likely to simply endure it than to take the steps to leave the prisons to which we have become accustomed.”
As stated by the writers of the Declaration of Independence about our political situation, so it is with us now in an emotional sense. Our prison was created for us when we were children, but with time and repetition, we become thoroughly accustomed to our condition. It becomes NORMAL to us, and eventually we can’t imagine living anywhere other than this prison that has become our home. Other people can describe to us the way out of prison, but we’d rather live with what is familiar than take the risk of stepping into the unknown, even if those steps could lead us to a joy beyond our imagination.
It is the mission of Real Love to create moments where we can feel the safety and joy of life outside our prisons. And then we can state and implement our own declarations of independence, finally and forever free of the prisons in which we have lived for so long.
Implement Your Own Declaration of Independence
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