Today is Independence Day in the USA and it set me thinking what independence really means. For me, being independent means being able to make my own decisions and being able to determine what is right for me. It also means being able to recognise when I am not acting independently and when I choose to allow my behaviour to be influenced too much by others around me or by memories from the past.
Making My Own Decisions
Sometimes we have to make decisions about what is right for us even when that may mean upsetting people. This can be difficult if we like pleasing others and when we keep our own wishes and desires secret and don’t share them for fear of being ridiculed. We worry that our family, friends and work-colleagues “might” make adverse comments about our goals in life and about what we really want. The importance of living true to yourself disappears and you give away your independence to be you to others.
Independence Does Not Mean Being Alone
Independence for me means being responsible for yourself but it doesn’t mean you have to struggle on your own when things get difficult. It allows you to recognise when the going is tough and to ask for support. Sometimes life throws a curved ball and you need those around you to step up and take charge for a while and if they are unable, for any reason, to do this, being independent allows you to search out and secure the support that is right for you in your time of change.
Self-care, personal change and continued well-being is an Indepencence Day issue. I know from the work that I do, that the people who make great change and come through difficult times in their lives most easily, are the ones that are steadfastly independent and take responsibility for themselves through-out whilst at the same time counting on my support in the work we do together and on the support of others around them. Simply knowing there is someone who believes in you and is fighting your corner can allow you to be independent. And when life isn’t right for you, independence means you act now to start putting it right.
So what are you going to do for Independence Day? What decisions for your future and for your self-care are important today? I urge you all to be independent and celebrate being the person you are!