Celebrating Endings for New Beginnings - Independence Day and the Declaration of Independence


Courtesy of www.freepik.com

Independence Day, known as July 4th, is a federal holiday in the United States. The holiday celebrates the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, signed on July 4, 1776, which established the United States of America.  The Declaration of Independence, signed unanimously by all 56 delegates of the Second Continental Congress, is an eloquently written historical document which explains the reasons why the Thirteen Colonies decided to sever ties with Great Britain.  Likewise, in our personal lives, all relationships have a beginning, a middle and an end. What can we learn from the Declaration of Independence that we can apply to our own lives whenever we wrestle with ending relationships? Let's discuss....

The Declaration of Independence - Written Concisely and Powerfully

The document itself is not very long.  The Declaration of Independence is only 1,320 words, including the title.  However, its brevity makes it a powerful document because each word is used succinctly, and the document can be read in one sitting. 

First Paragraph - "When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them to one another....they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."

It is only fair that the reasons why this relationship needs to end is communicated. The first paragraph sets the foundation that due to the adverse consequences of  'human events' the dissolution of the relationship is necessary. 

What we can learn...Write Down Your Reasons Why the Relationship is Over
When wrestling with the angst that comes with ending a relationship, be clear about your reasons why it needs to end.  It is rare that both parties want a relationship to end at the same time.  Usually, one party still receives benefits from the relationship, whereas the other party feels a loss. Therefore, the party that initiates the ending needs to be strong and clear about their decision.  The other party will protest and argue to stay together, at times.  If the initiator is not strong, then he/she could be convinced to stay together.  This only prolongs the inevitable dissolution and delays moving forward with life. Writing down the reasons why provides clarity and support when making the difficult decision to end a relationship. 

Courtesy of Pixaby.com, Fireworks by Rhomphaia

Second paragraph - "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal..."

Before stating the exact reasons why the relationship needs to end, the document offers another foundational layer by stating the core beliefs of the Thirteen Colonies. The fact that the political rule of Great Britain conflicted with their core beliefs necessitated the end of the relationship.

What we can learn...What are your core beliefs?

Usually, relationships form due to mutual common interests and core beliefs. When these core beliefs are no longer in sync, eventually, relationships end. Before ending a relationship, so that you will feel confident in your decision, clarify your core beliefs about who you are, what type of person you want to be, and what type of relationship you need. Write it down, and keep it plain. 

Third Paragraph/Section (listing of the reasons for separation) - Focus on the Facts 

"To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world."

Everything happens for a reason.  According to the first law of motion, an object will continue to move in the same direction until it is acted upon by force. In the relationship world, good times continue until something changes.  Parties come together for mutual benefits, and part when these mutual benefits no longer exist.  In most separation documents which include divorces, job terminations or business partnerships, stating the facts of the events that led up to the ending of the relationship is common.

What we can learn...Living in An Illusion Only Delays the Ending, so Focus on the Facts

The Thirteen Colonists had enough. They no longer believed that things would get better, so they listed several reasons why their independence was necessary. Often, in unhealthy relationships, magical thinking takes over and there is an unrealistic belief that things will change and get better. This is probably due to the relationship lifecycle.  Relationships start off good, which is like honey to get you to get involved in the first place.  However, over time, for various reasons, things turn sour.  Initially, the Thirteen Colonies needed the leadership of Great Britain, but eventually, this leadership conflicted with their core beliefs. As a result, the relationship died and separation was required.  Dreaming that things will get better only delays the eventual death of the relationship and the healing process that comes with change. By focusing on the facts, it is easier to actually see what is going on instead of only noticing what we want or wish would happen.

Paragraphs Four and Five - Whenever solutions cause more problems, then the end is eventual

"...Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury."

"...They too have been deaf to the voice of justice."

The Thirteen Colonies, through their representatives, made it known to the political leaders of Great Britain that they were not happy with their rulership. Some of the reasons were taxation without representation, denial of a trial by jury, and obstruction of justice, among other infractions. The responses to their needs were not sufficient and resulted in more suffering. The leadership of Great Britain was perceived to do more harm than good.  

What we can learn...Advocate for Yourself

You are your best advocate. Speak up for your needs and make them plain and understandable. At the same time, it is not a guarantee that the other parties have the interest or power to make you whole.  For various reasons, Great Britian did not satisfy the needs of the Thirteen Colonies. Before cutting people out of your life, let it be known what you need to be happy in a relationship because sometimes people may not know that their actions are not satisfactory. BUT, after you let them know that you are unhappy, and nothing changes, then it is time to make the decision to sever ties. 

Courtesy of Pixabay.com, Emancipate Liberation by John Hain

Paragraph Six (Conclusion) - You Reap What You Sow

"We, therefore,....ought to be Free and Independent States"

After documenting how the rulership of Great Britain conflicted with their core values, and listed the infractions, the Thirteen Colonies agreed that the only solution to remedy these problems is to be independent.  Their argument was that they had no choice but to sever ties. 

The decision to become independent was very logical: 
  • Core values were stated
  • Infractions were listed that conflicted to the core values
  • The problems were made known to leadership
  • The solutions offered caused more problems and were not enough
  • Therefore, we have no choice but to be independent.
What we can learn...Sometimes you don't have a choice but to let go

Ending a relationship is a type of death, but it is necessary for life.  The life of one thing can be the death of something else, but it is a part of life. For an example, when a person becomes a parent, their single life no longer exists, it is like a death.  When a student graduates from school, their student life ends, or dies. Life is a series of births and deaths; beginnings and endings.  Often, due to circumstances, we have no choice but to let the relationship die so that we can live. 


The July 4th holiday is often celebrated with fireworks, parades and family dinners.  In our own independence, we can celebrate our freedom. Enjoy! 

July 4th picture - https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/independence-day-background-with-us-flag_1148967.htm.

Declaration of Independence - Courtesy of Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Declaration_of_Independence

Declaration of Independence - Courtesy of the National Archives, https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration-transcript