I have always thought of myself as independent.  Even when I was totally financial dependent on others, I imagined that I still had decision making power and control over how things would turn out.  I acted as if my voice still counted and I took responsibility for those decision that I helped to make.

An independent spirit requires that you maintain a certain level of competence and distance from others.  It is not that you loose any sense of compassion or caring.  It is just that you take the observe role and see the situation from a perspective that allows you to observe the good and the bad in any and all possible outcomes.  You do not become lost in the needs of others nor do you ignore their needs to gain your own advantage.  It is this level of autonomy that keeps us sane and healthy in difficult situations and it is that level of autonomy that we lose when we slip into dependence – emotional, financial, physical, spiritual, intellectual or relational.

How do we guard ourselves against that kind of dependence?  First we must recognize the signs of waning self confidence and waxing loss of identity. Knowing your own mind, heart and body is the first step and being tuned into changes or SHIFTS is key.  When you begin to set aside your own needs on a regular basis is it is time to take stock.  When you are blaming others for your situation it is time to take stock and when you are making decisions for others it is also time to take stock.  It is a balancing act and you will know when you are in the GROOVE

Take good care this week. Keep in touch with yourself and your relational well-being.  Maintain a healthy distance from those you are not ready to trust.  Rely on yourself and on those with whom you have developed a healthy INTERdependence.

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