Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Benefits of Independence

One of my favorite characteristics is independence. Independence frees us from the ties associated with depending on the external world to provide some of the very same things we can provide for ourselves. However, being independent does not suggest an existence that is void of relationship. Independence has made me even more grateful for my relationships. I am not relying on others for the things I should provide for myself which makes me a much better daughter/sister/friend. It is because I am independent that my relationships are healthy and purposeful.

I’ve never quite understood people not being able to function without the presence of someone else—particularly when the character of the ‘someone else’ does not seem to matter. I’ve seen so many enter or remain in relationships that are unhealthy and unfulfilling simply because of the assumption that having someone is better than having no one. Witnessing these relationship train wrecks make me appreciate knowing that a negative somebody is far worse than having nobody.

Being independent frees you from engaging in discouraging, harmful, and destructive relationships. When you discover your independence you realize that you are able to function—and function quite well—without negative people or people who encourage the negative in you. People who do not support your development only add to your relationship roster and not to your life.

When I say I’m independent it doesn’t mean I don’t need people. It doesn’t suggest that my friends aren’t important to me. It doesn’t imply that I think people are replaceable. I am able to be independent partly because of the loving, positive, and encouraging people supporting me. Independence means that I take responsibility for my development and emotional health. Independence means that I am accountable for the choices that I make. Independence means that I am sensible about the company that I keep because those who are in my life have a purpose and add value to my life.

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