CAN INDEPENDENCE BE DESTRUCTIVE?
I was at my sister and brother in law’s new home in Indiana when my views on Independence were challenged. I sat in a cushioned chair in their four-seasons room while I sipped my coffee and stared out the window towards the river. I thought to myself, “I am so excited to get to the point where I am totally independent!” and just as quickly as that thought came, another one came through. I say it was God because it didn’t feel like my own, it came from a place higher in comparison to the level of my awareness was at that time. I felt God say, “No one is Independent. You need air to breathe, food to eat, warmth to stay alive and people to give you money. I made life this way so that you can all need one another”.
Where did the Independence mindset come from?
I can only speak from my own experience and observation. I will say that in my personal life, I wanted to be independent because that was the narrative I was often given. “Don’t depend on anybody”, “People will let you down”, “Don’t expect much from others” and the list can go on. I was creating this idea in my head that I couldn’t trust anyone and that I was better off depending on myself. The life-story that best defines this in my life would be when I was in sales. I got to a point in the company where I was leading 30-50 people on my team and I had to regulate licenses, sales, new-hires, training and more. I wanted control over everything because I didn’t want to get too comfortable relying on someone’s help due to fear. Many destructive behaviors came from this. I didn’t take feedback well as I should’ve, I would quickly dismiss ideas, and the worst one was that through my actions, I gave everyone this sense that I thought they were inferior to me. It was horrible and I didn’t realize how limiting this was to a collaborative environment. My pride in wanting to be independent was being challenged in my every day life. In romantic relationships, I didn’t want to be transparent, I didn’t allow men to take care of me in meaningful ways; I was pushing connections away. It took some inner-work to strip away this narrative that plays loud and soundly to this day of my limiting beliefs of independence. Now I strive to be resourceful, not independent.
Resourceful vs Independent
I agree that being resourceful is something we all strive to be, even at a young age. We want to be “big kids” and do things for ourselves. I have a kind friend who, despite his disabilities, strives to be resourceful in his everyday life. I won’t deny this human desire to feel like we are capable of bringing value to a space and community because we can. We want to serve and contribute to a cause bigger than just ourselves; it’s our human nature. The more I observe the current generation, I notice that to be resourceful and to be independent stem from two different vocations. I can see pride growing in striving to be independent and at the same time I also see the selfishness that can derive from such a mindset. As soon as we believe we stand alone, we treat everything and anyone as secondary to us. This creates a subconscious idea that we must look out for ourselves solely and never allow ourselves to accept that we can be a team with others. I see this in relationships today, people saying out loud, “I don’t need a man/woman”, but this isn’t true. Without a man and a woman, we wouldn’t be here. Being resourceful in life is an asset but to be independent is to not be human.
Dependence has its purpose
We are not independent. We must value everything and anyone that provides any type of resource to our lives. A man or woman might say, “Well, I’m a farmer and I don’t need civilization. I live on my own land!”. Even then, you need the soil, the sun, water, your health and mobility in your body to do what you need to do. Being dependent teaches us to respect life, people and it unites us with one another. Dependence has its purpose in our well-being. We need our mother’s womb to survive during those 9 months of pregnancy. We can’t be in a loving human-relationship without another being. Dependence is good in many ways and I hope we can see this.
Peace and Love be with you,
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DEVLOPING STRONG INTUITION
Humans are powerful and they have the ability to become whomever they want. Unfortunately, a great portion of the world has been consumed in system and chaos. The majority of us are either blending into a system or reacting to the chaos. All of this starts to condition the way we build our life. What you may think is normal may instead be familiar.
Clarity is relevant to every angle you choose to look at it from. You can gain clarity through certainty in your judgment or you can gain clarity through uncertainty in your intuition. You may have stories of how you felt your words were the “right” words to say and they were. Maybe you knew to go left when it made sense to go right but at the end you made the correct answer. Some readers like myself, read about the time Martin Luther King Jr chose to go to jail in the worst time possible when the movement needed him the most. That his decision grew from a place where logic ceased to exist and intuition was able to bloom. His intuition led him to a vibration stronger than any fear or doubt that logic brought forth, it led him towards peace.
Intuition has been the mystery of man through the ages of time. How do we access it? How do I know it’s my intuition? How do I strip logic away? What if I told you that you’ve already done what you need to do to train this part of you - It’s called conditioning. Your ability to grow the truest part of you that you consider “uncertain”, is what it took to make you certain in your logic. Could you imagine learning to become certain in your uncertainty?
Conditioning the Uncertainty of Intuition
I was talking to a friend about my journey of entrepreneurship and self-employment. He said to me, “You are very risky. I don’t think I could do that”, to which my answer was, “It’s not that I am not aware of risk in comparison to someone else, I was just conditioned to see risk differently”. In my late teens and early twenties I chose to go into sales instead of taking the traditional route to college. All around me were people who turned the impossible into possible; it was my normal. I saw people fail miserably and rise in victory. Risk and failures were just a moment to pass through in the journey, not something to avoid. I didn’t have the certainty of a system where if you just aced this test or finished this assignment you passed. I was conditioned to create systems that worked best according to the obstacles that would arise in each moment. I couldn’t afford not to listen to my intuition, even though I didn’t know this is what I was doing. I just had this deep understanding that the peace I was feeling was more real than anything I could physically see.
Yes, I know, “Another talk about faith!”. There is no other way to condition this gift inside you that I call, your inner compass. This is the ONLY way. Faith is the certainty when the physical and logical mind sees uncertainty. It is the only way to walk into dark places so that you can come out with loads of wisdom. Wisdom is the GOLD you achieve in the darkest places. You must gain wisdom while in your visit with darkness so that you can become the light to find your way out. Through repetition, you gain a trust and confidence in yourself that CANNOT be attained otherwise. This enables you to pass through risk like nobody's business but your own.
My message to you
I don’t know how your relationship is with your intuition but the work in building a strong one will forever be worth it.
Love and Peace be with you!
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Friends that have tried to comfort me have said, “don’t let people affect you”. This was always the hardest thing to do because people and situations in my life have affected me. I've felt ashamed for being weak and not doing what it seemed like many were doing; not letting people and situations affect them. What was I doing wrong?
CHANGING MY RESPONSE
I’d soon come face to face with an experience that would again affect me. A friend said something that embarrassed me and I instantly began to tear up. He began to apologize and take back what was said. I couldn’t speak and I just sat there trying not to cry. Instead of suppressing how it affected me, I asked myself why it did and I knew exactly why it did. What he said to me was something I had already said to myself but to hear someone else acknowledging it, made it all more true. As he continued to feel sorry, my response wasn’t what he expected. I told him that he didn’t upset me, that the emotions had already existed because I said it to myself. That it wasn’t his fault that I was upset, that if I didn’t feel this way already, it wouldn’t have affected me this way. We got off the phone and I recognized I needed a moment of solitude to journal what I had learned by embracing the emotions that arose instead of neglecting them. As I wrote down my beginning thoughts, my attention was pulled to the tree outside my window and I understood.
THE TREE OUTSIDE MY WINDOW
As I watched this tree outside my window, I noticed the branches move to the wind, leaves covered with snow because of the weather and still, the tree remained grounded. It didn’t try to prove that it wasn’t affected nor try to create strategies to ignore the way it was clearly being affected, it just remained grounded. This magnificent tree remained still and it’s roots held on to what was important; the ground. It humbly embraced the changes of it’s environment and allowed itself to grow along with it. It uses the heat of the summer to recharge, the support of fall to prepare for winter and it confidently blooms in spring.
QUESTIONS I CONSIDERED
Trees know that their growth is part of the effect. People will say things to us that affect our emotions about ourselves but how well do we stay grounded? How do we remain confident in the process of our growth? Where are our roots? In the ground, or in the opinions and moments that blow us like the wind? All these questions surfaced as I looked outside my window. My pen couldn’t keep up with the wisdom I was learning from my friend, The Tree. Now the real question is, what do we do in moments where we are affected?
WHAT TO DO
We must know what keeps our roots grounded, what our roots resemble and how to use them. Your roots symbolize your worth, values, actions, truth and your purpose. Always take time to recharge yourself by creating moments that empower your roots. A tree uses its leaves to transform the light of the sun to energy, then it let’s go of the leaves to survive winter. During these harsh winters, the roots release the food reserves it stored to fuel the tree so that it can produce what it needs for spring. The fuel needed during winter symbolizes the moments of solitude that will be required through self-talk, gratitude, grace, love and repeating empowering affirmations. When you are affected by people and situations in your life that resemble that of a winter, take time to reevaluate, recommit if you have to and refocus your attention to your roots in the ground.
MY MESSAGE TO YOU
So long as you take time to reground your roots, you will be as strong as a tree during the harshest winters. You will grow humility like the tree and take responsibility for your times of instability. Through this, you will be reminded of the importance of growing your roots so that you remain grounded.
Peace and love be with you!