The minute you become dependent upon anyone in any way you no longer have any power to move forward in your own pattern, in your own blueprint, and on your own behalf. You come to a halt. Gregge Tiffen (Finding Freedom: The Meaning of Independence, July, 2007)
Reflect on this quote for a few moments and you may come to discover a key to why we so often feel stuck and experience the frustration that accompanies that ‘stuck-ness’.
Another Independence Day has come and gone here in the USA, the 240th since a small band of visionary revolutionaries, some of whom had deep mystical understanding, declared independence and set a course for a new nation. We’ve celebrated our freedom once again. But I’ve come to wonder if we/I really know what freedom is. Do we/I know the importance of exercising our independence? Do we/I even know how?
As I observe the political landscape, I see and hear demands for freedom. Fear that someone who is ‘different from me’ will take our freedom away is rampant. It seems we have lost our understanding that the source of freedom and independence is not man or government. Rather, free will is our gift from the Universe. Independence is Universal law. Dependence is a violation of that law.
And yet we have created and continue to support dependence in our systems of government, education, business. We give life to these systems when we depend on them as our source. We’ve become dependent on bosses, clients, government agencies and circumstances for our happiness and well-being. And, in doing so, we give away our freedom, our power to choose.
When I’m deeply honest with myself, I can see dependence imbedded in personal relationships and friendships as well. We expect others to ‘be there’ for us and we may even be dependent on them needing us as well.
It’s no wonder that the level of frustration, angst, and fear has reached revolutionary proportions. We aren’t being true to our nature. We desperately want to find our way back. So we revolt. Many lash out at the ‘powers that be’ as if they are the source. Others wisely recognize that change starts within and that responsibility is key to the exercise of freedom.
A first step in taking responsibility is the recognition that the tyranny of dependence is in part self-imposed. From that awareness we are in a position to declare our own, personal independence. I’ve discovered that ‘unlearning dependence’ requires the willingness and self-honesty to look inside to what motivates my action. When I help out a neighbor am I simply using the opportunity as expression of my best self or do I have a hidden (mostly to me) agenda to fill an unmet need?
We restore our independence our willingness to look honestly step by step and choice by choice. We learn from experience and commitment that our independence is mostly an inside job. That job is made more challenging in a culture that fosters dependence as a means to control. Yet, in the final analysis we and we alone are the authors of our own freedom.