In our world independence seems to be applauded. In fact recently I had a sweet friend connect with me as she sees me as living a rather independent life and she was hoping I could help direct her to do the same.
The notion of independence is complex and I turned to my trusty resources – not google, but my bookshelf. Several wise souls have pondered on independence and one that struck a chord for me was the idea of healthy and unhealthy independence. Being unhealthy in a state of independence shows up as being rather isolated and protecting oneself – withdrawing and building walls around your emotional being. This often stems from a past wound – typically connected to love and the heart. I know people like this – heck, I’ve been this person! They can clearly be labelled as independent, not relying on others and forging their own path, yet they can keep people just at arms length as a barrier to potential pain.
Conversely, healthy independence is described as a confidence in your core being. Knowing you are lucky, loved and loveable. When you can live from this place you’re not constantly reliant on external forces to prop you up and you’re free to spread JOY without expectation.
If it follows there are two different undercurrents for living an independent life – one from pain and the other from confidence, its also interesting to look at the source or starting point for these behaviours and beliefs. I know for me I had an independent streak at a young age. Solo endeavours filled my days as I climbed trees, explored the woods, read books, talked to the ghosts in the nearby cemetery, and spent my free time with animals of all sorts. But this early display of independence could have been nothing more than a phase if I hadn’t witnessed great cases of dependent relationships. Through their interactions I saw compromises played out on a grand scale and slowly the loss of the individual self – self belief and self worth both slowly eroded. In their place, thin layers of fear and grasping seemed to take hold. I remember with great clarity knowing that I didn’t want a similar life for myself. Consequently, the foundation of independence took hold. So perhaps independence can grow from a combination of both pain and confidence. I know for me, its all ultimately a source of my JOY.
Given the choice, I know which version I want to manifest. . .