What does it mean to you, to be independent?
My teenage daughter was the one who actually suggested this focus for the week. I asked her, “what should my focus be in my newsletter this week?”, and she blurted out, “Being Independent!”
I said, “Tell me more about that.” She said, “Well, it’s like when you have to figure out how to get yourself out of bed on time and be responsible for yourself, and not have to rely on anyone else to do it for you.” (*She gets it!)
Over the years, I have never had the focus of ‘Being Independent’ before, so I thought today must be the day to share it and declare it. What immediately showed up for me, is the story below.
Jill’s Story ~ Dependent to Independent
I remember when my parents dropped me off at college. We spent the afternoon setting up my room and moving all of my clothes into the tiny closet that was provided. It was mid-afternoon on a sunny day in September, and my roommate hadn’t arrived yet. We had completed all of our tasks for ‘move in day’, and my parents were ready to head back home. We hugged, said our ‘good byes’, and they left. That was that.
I remember that I was sitting at my desk, just looking around at the small (and mostly empty) dorm room, and all of a sudden, a wave of emotions hit me. I thought to myself, “Now what? What do I do? I don’t even know anyone!” For the entire day I was energized, happy and so excited to be going to college. Then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, my reality set in. I sat there alone and tears began to run down my cheeks. I guess I hadn’t thought ahead about being totally independent, alone and having to navigate life 100% by myself. It was in that moment that my dependency on my parents became evident and my new reality of independence came rushing in.
I clearly survived, but for that first hour, I was completely out off my comfort zone, as if a huge ‘dependency bandage’ had been ripped off without my knowing. That day taught me a really good lesson about myself and how to begin to step into my own independence, and for that. . . I’m grateful!
“At the end of the day, you only have yourself to fall back on, so it is exceedingly important to be able to handle things on your own. It is all about being secure with who you are and what you believe in. It is extremely empowering knowing that you are in control of your own life and your own choices. It is much more beneficial to listen to the voice inside yourself rather than the berating opinions of others.” ~ Ashley Fern Elite Daily
“How does your independence show up in your life?”
Some examples of being independent would be going to a movie and out to dinner by yourself, or even taking a trip and traveling alone. This may be a stretch for some people, but it really opens up our sense of independence and getting comfortable with being alone and not having to rely on others for conversation or reassurance.
“Where and when do you feel dependent on others?”
This could include things like having fear of being alone, being needy for other people’s attention or even being passive. Other common characteristics and definitions of being dependent on others are the inabilities to make decisions for yourself and really needing advice and/or reassurance from others to get through your day.
Get clear on who you are and want YOU want in your life. Step into your independence with gusto and notice what happens when you do.
Your assignment and challenge: Find something to do by yourself this week, that honors your independence. Stretch yourself and take note of your accomplishment!
Live in the Question
“How can I express my independence in a healthy way so I can continue to grow?
How am I transforming as I consistently ‘lean into’ and honor my independence?”
“I am a strong and independent person, and I’m open to exploring experiences so I can continue to grow, change and find inner peace and happiness by myself, FOR myself.”