What Does Being Independent Really Mean?
While each one of us would like to claim that we are strong, independent women, what does ‘strength’, and ‘independence’, really entail? Is it about being able to pick up your own bag? Is it about putting your foot down and saying, ‘I will go out at night, just like men do, because I have equal rights’? Does being strong and independent mean to be able to secure yourself financially?
It means all of this, and more.
To be independent does not necessarily mean that you need to compete with men (or anybody else for that matter) at every juncture to prove yourself better. The first thing that independence entails is being aware of yourself – aware of your strengths, as well as your shortcomings. When you have the maximum amount of faith on yourself – no matter what the situation is – you know that you really are an independent person. The second step is to be at peace with yourself. To acknowledge and accept every bit of yourself – things about you that are fabulous, and also things about you that need work.
To be independent means to care for others around you, as you care for yourself (and which you must), without any expectations. This probably is the toughest form of independence to practice, because when you make investments (especially emotional investments), expectations seem to be only a natural part. When you rid (well, to some degree) yourself of these expectations, and look only towards yourself for that emotional sustenance, you will experience a rare and precious feeling of strength. A feeling which reinforces the fact that if nothing, and no one else, you are there for yourself. And that you are your own being. That kind of independence is something no one can take away from you. Because then you are completely secure about yourself – secure even about your own insecurities.
But does being strong and independent mean to do everything on your own?
Well, that’s more of a metaphorical question because we all know that we need and deserve help in becoming better versions of ourselves. And this isn’t something we can do in isolation. Seeking help, or being vocal about your shortcomings does not make you any less independent. If anything, it proves your dedication to your own self, and your constant striving to be better, and the best at what you do. And when you acknowledge the people and the help that has gone in to make you who you are today, it makes you something far more beautiful than a strong and independent person – it makes you a kind human being. The one kind of people we need in abundance all over the world today, and every day.
So what is your kind of strong and independent?