Okay, but like, what IS Independence?
I mean…happy birthday America?
Personally, I’m not celebrating America’s anything right now…not in this current political climate…but I am celebrating the warm weather, sense of community, and fun outdoor eating that July 4th brings about. After all, what kind of day would it be without that typical flag-made-out-of-strawberries-cake.
But it got me thinking. How do we celebrate our own independence? Am I independent? I like to think so - my therapist would tell you that I am a bit too independent.
I definitely like to do things on my own, for myself, by myself. I don’t need the help of anyone - I can hang up curtains and I can change a tire (lolz in theory y’all). I enjoy spending time on my own and I like to be in control.
But is that independence?
I don’t think that a stubborn indigence satisfies the criteria for bring an independent woman. If I can build my own shelves but I can’t manage my anxiety…well…that doesn’t sound very accomplished.
It’s easy for us to fall into the trap that just because we are capable, we are independent. Side note: how many times can I use the word independent?!
Shouldn’t independence mean that we can stand on our own two feet even when shit gets real? Shouldn’t independence mean that we are sound in our beliefs and unwavering in our morals even though our friends/ family disagree? Shouldn’t we be able to say no to shitty boyfriends and unreasonable bosses?
Why is it that as women we can find our '“voice” when it comes to equal pay and opening our own doors but we can’t find resounding truth when it comes to our self-worth? Why do we lean on our best friends to tell us that we’re not fat, that those jeggings do look good, and that we are kicking ass in the men’s club that is the corporate work place.
Girl friends shouldn’t tolerate insecurity - we should encourage empowerment. We should want for our friends to stand on their own two feet and make decisions that are best for them. Like imagine if we split up at Sephora and picked out products based on our opinions NOT those of beauty bloggers. Or you could be like me and get your makeup at Walgreens where the choices are fewer and cheaper haha! #teacherssalary
Independence goes further than doing things alone. Independence means trusting our core values, listening to our internal voice, and actively choosing to put ourselves before image/social media/ society.
I hate fireworks. So I’m not going. And I am totally, completely, 150% okay that my friends are. I don’t want to do something because the group is doing it. My family is all over the world right now and even though I have the option to travel to be with some of them, I don’t want to. I need to reset, regroup, and take care of myself. And I am totally okay telling everyone all these things. I don’t feel guilt, I don’t feel obligated, and I don’t feel pressure to follow. I want to do me. I need to be me. And I always hope to wake up knowing that I can feel, see, hear, experience, ANYTHING that suits my current state - DESPITE what my herd is doing.
Isn’t that cool?
I’m not over here saying it’s easy. I carry the weight of the world. Being a healer, I carry more emotional weight than most - I live in a constant state of conflict and struggle. I feel guilty for anything that I have knowing that there are those less fortunate than me. I give my last everything to everyone and then feel absolutely awful that I don’t have more to give. I pick up the emotional baggage of the people around me and I attract negative energy. I feel like the more I take on, the less others will feel. And a huge part of me is okay being the punching bag, the sponge, the confidant, and the garbage can. I hate hurting others, being a disappointment, or leaving anyone hanging.
And yet…I am SO much more anxious when I succumb to the irrational idea that I am above self-care. Or that I am held to a higher standard than my peers. I feel my eating disorder a lot more intensely when I am overlooking my own needs. I feel compelled to use substances again when I’m neglecting my TRUE self.
Your TRUE self is that tiny voice that never shuts up. It’s those random thoughts you have before you fall asleep and it is always the first thing that you think of. If someone asks you “what’s your favorite color” and the first thing you hear is “red,” well then red truly is your favorite color. Even if your mind then tries to tell you that oh wait, you don’t like red anymore because it’s not cool, or it’s too aggressive, or too slutty. Your TRUE self shares its needs with you all the time - it’s the reason you feel disappointed after doing something you didn’t really want to do. It’s the reason you feel annoyed with yourself after days of mistreatment. Our TRUE selves are the parts that we battle with - the parts that don’t “fit.”
Except…they DO fit. Our societal minds are the problem.
I am allowed to be free. I am allowed to put my needs first. I am supposed to honor myself always. AND SO ARE YOU!!! As humans our purpose is great and expansive. Depending on your school of thought you may be working towards a higher self, towards heaven, or being as kind to nature as possible. Nothing should ever get in the way of your goals, your mindset, or your resounding call to be everything.
Go out and enjoy what’s left of this gorgeous summer day…if you want to. If you want to sit inside in the AC, do that! Independence comes from within…much like everything else <3