Friday, October 29, 2010


1. A state of being not dependent; complete exemption from control, or the power of others; as the independence of the Supreme Being.
2. A state in which a person does not rely on others for subsistence; ability to support one's self.
3. A state of mind in which a person acts without bias or influence from others;     exemption from undue influence; self-direction.
I’m a big fan of it being yourself. And, if you think about it, independence can be considered a form of ‘being yourself’. I think until you are your own true self…you really haven’t lived.
Everyone knows stepping out from the crowd, saying no, or yes, can be tough. Going against the group, standing up to applaud, or voice your opinion, are all forms of independence. And when no one else is doing it, sometimes we hesitate do it ourselves because we wonder if it’s right. We may even feel alone. At one time or another we have all had similar feelings.
Why is this? Do you think too many ‘other’ people with opinions voice them so quickly and harshly that they offend and intimidate the one attempting to make an independent stand? Do you think the one squelching someone’s independence does so as a pressure tactic to keep the independent person close? Or do they just want us to live our lives like them, because they don’t want to feel alone, or because they think they know best? Think about this for a minute…
What are you hesitating to do because of someone else’s opinion? What are you afraid to pursue because you are afraid someone will judge you, or maybe you’re afraid to let someone down?
That fear keeps some people from stepping up, stepping out, being different and offering  their own view. A fear of being rejected is sometimes powerful enough to keep us from doing things we know we want to do, and need to do. It’s detrimental to our personal growth and our destiny.
The world is made up many different types of individuals. That’s what it’s all about; being different, sharing our differences and pursuing what we love and believe in, learning from one another.
We must be independent, despite what others think or say. Worrying about what people think of us will keep us from finding our true self.
I say, ‘Who cares if someone doesn’t like me?’ I am who I am and I accept me. God accepts me, and honestly, what else matters?
Everyone remembers that silly bumper sticker that says something like this: ‘Opinions are like …. and everyone has one.’ Everyone does have an opinion, but it’s Your Life, and at the end of Your Life, do you really care what somebody else thinks of you and your decisions? Do you really want to put your life on hold for somebody else?
I don’t.
I love people. I want to make people happy, I really do. But the reality is, I can’t. The reality is, I only have X amount of time on earth, and, if I went around everyday living my life according to what other people thought or wanted, I’d never accomplish a thing and I wouldn’t be where I am today. (Do you know how many people didn’t want me to move from CT to OH??? I don’t have enough hands to count...additionally, do you know how many people protested my divorce prior to it becoming final?? I’ll give you a hint: it included my father and mother.) I don’t have time to live my life by someone else’s rules.
By now, you are probably wondering why I seem to be on a tangent. Well, this week I was inspired by my daughter who stood up for herself, and what she believed in. She is very young and is a people pleaser like me. She loves to make others happy, and this week, she decided to make herself happy.
She stepped out of the group and stood her ground. She knows who she is, she knows her worth and she knows exactly what she will and will not accept. She was petrified to speak up, for fear of disappointing me, her teacher and her friend, and although she was afraid, she did it anyway.
She declared her INDEPENDENCE.  
‘When you face your fear, most of the time you will discover that it was not really such a big threat after all. We all need some form of deeply rooted, powerful motivation – it empowers us to overcome obstacles so we can live our dreams.’ – Les Brown
I have read this every morning and every night for the past year. It symbolized something in my life that had a hold of me. My fear was keeping me back, behind the line, letting someone else dictate my life, and worse, dictate my three babies lives. We experienced nothing but heartache and frustration. I was letting my fear hold me back from what I knew I must do.
We can’t do everything on our own. So don’t confuse ‘independence’ with ‘go it alone’. Independence is finding the strength to be yourself...going it alone is just plain crazy.
Find support: connect with those you trust and who know the real you and believe in you. Together you’ll be able to face your fears and make a stand. I did, you know who you are that helped give me a push ;)
My daughter needed a push too, hers was just knowing I was there holding her hand.

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