What's Your Independence Scale?
It was fun to see how people celebrated the 4th of July on social media. It was also fun to see the post from the British side of things.
A part of the contemplative journey is seeing that life and words have many different angles and practicing how to be in those spaces. Take the word independence. We celebrate Independence Day and as a culture there is an understanding that independence is a good thing. As I contemplate (sit with all sides of this word) I begin to see the other side of independence. In Shift Happens, Robert Holden explains a dysfunctional independence.
“From a distance, the independent person cuts a striking pose. To be independent looks like power, freedom, and true strength. But it isn’t. Independence is not strength, it is a wound. Independence is inspired not by love, but fear, and not by wholeness, but aloneness. Independence is the ego’s attempt to be its own god. It is a form of arrogance that leads to much despair. The independent person also runs out of juice...”
He then gives 10 signs of being dysfunctionally independent and then concludes with “There is a better way than independence... People have talents, strengths, and gifts you can’t see yet because you are not asking for help. Just imagine, maybe all of the universe is here to support you. Drop your cynicism. It is an old wound. Open up to life. Let people in. Let yourself be nourished and given to. This is true strength.”
If you would like to discuss this further, join us on July 19th at 6 pm for a discussion of the book Shift Happens. I encourage you at this season, when we have just celebrated our independence, to contemplate this in light of the world today and in reflection of the way God is calling you to be in this amazing world filled with Life. This one word can be a great form of spiritual practice and could lead to some great conversations in prayer and with others. Let me know what you discover!