I’ve noticed how the terms independence and freedom are used interchangeably by people living in the United States (particularly in relation to the 4th of July) as if they mean the same thing. They may appear to be equals of each other but I don’t think they are per se. I think one may be a state of being while the other is a state of mind. If your mind isn’t in the right place – independent – how can you be free?
Independent is defined as:
Not influenced or controlled by others…thinking for oneself
Possessing a competency
Not depending on others for its value
Synonyms for Independent include:
Freedom is defined as:
Absence or release from obligations
Ease of movement
Power to exercise choice without internal constraints
Synonyms for Freedom include:
Many of us walk around as if we had leg shackles, iron chains and other physical hindrances as a substitute for limitations we place on ourselves (and others) internally. There are other countries that do impose limits on its citizenry with laws that hinder them. We could also talk about the various people smuggled into this country under forced labor “deals” who are essentially enslaved. This is more of an philosophical conversation, an discussion of our internal processes and how we hold ourselves back. Or worse yet make things tremendously more difficult than what is absolutely necessary.
Have you ever had a friend who “had” to ask “permission” from a significant other just to hang out with you? I’m not talking about being considerate or checking for previously made plans. I’m referring to giving all power away. They couldn’t even determine their own schedule. I’ve seen women do this and they walk around eggshells trying not to draw a negative emotional response from this person who is evaluating you to find out if you’re a “trouble-maker”. Meaning that you’d ask a reasonable question and expect a reasonable response. The relationship may never be one specifically abusive but the fear of its loss colors everything the woman does.
How about removing yourself from toxic people? I recently found myself having an moment of clarity about someone with an issue that I thought had long been resolved. I realized that I was intuitive about their moods and how mean they were to specific people. I also realized how much effort it required to not internalize their negativity. Even when it had nothing to do with any particular individual. This person was always struggling but rarely moving forward. I also realized that despite speaking about these issues, forgiveness and wanting to move on that being in physical proximity or engaging in regular conversations with this person would not be beneficial regardless.
So one has to be disengaged and keep a wide path between yourself and parasitic people. If we’re not thinking independent of several indoctrination tactics how would we even accept imbalanced relationships? It is not our duty as women to carry an entire generation of family members, yet some would expect it. Only the women of course. Conflicts ensue when you as a younger person don’t want to do things the way your parents or grandparents did something if you find their tactics won’t work in today’s world. Like seeking a “good” job with minimal benefits in the hopes you can work there for two decades. That time is over.
We have to realize the sources for news we get are seriously compromised. We have to stop waiting for “somebody else” to get the ball rolling. We will need to continually evaluate our values and beliefs. We have to accept that sometimes our viewpoint is almost entirely formed based on our level of privilege. That despite the fact some other person/group may be oppressing us to varying degrees that doesn’t mean we aren’t doing it to someone else.
So I ask, how can we have one without the other?