Freedom. Countless people have valued it, fought for it and even gave their life for it. Why? Why do people place such importance on the concept of having the ability to follow there hearts, honor their own beliefs and pursue their own happiness without being told by others what happiness means?The need for freedom seems fundamental to peoples sense of happiness. We do not like to be told how we should live our lives. On a global and sociopolitical scale, the quest for freedom seems to cross culture and time. But, on a more personal level, the quest for freedom from our own insecurities and self-doubt also seems to be universal.The question to consider is this what would I be willing to do to have independence from the thoughts, feelings and actions that hold me back from my ultimate happiness? On a personal level, this battle from within is what separates those who are able to fulfill their dreams and goals of happiness from those who continue to oppress themselves with their own negative thinking and self-defeating actions. In order to answer this question, we first need to be aware of the things that we do that stand in our own way and prevent happiness. By learning our own patterns of self-oppression, we can choose to fight to free ourselves from these patterns and allow the ultimate realization of our personally defined happiness. From there, it takes courage, persistence and a little creativity to create the happiness that you want.So, to ask a simple (but not easy) question, are you truly able to celebrate your personal Independence Day this year?