When I first began this practice a few years ago, I had a very different opinion on self reliance than I do now and looking back over my journals from previous years, its been beautiful to see my views and thoughts grow and change.
You see, I used to see self reliance as a thing to aspire to above all other things. A strong independent woman who needs no one else to get the things done. After all, when you rely on others for anything it just all goes to shit anyway right?
When I met my husband 10 years ago I had a fierce independence that I was misguidedly proud of. It was born from hurt and pain of past relationships and abandonment issues. It was independence created from trauma and fear, a survival mechanism to cope.
And it was within the love, care and authentic truth he showed me, that I came to understand the harm I was causing myself. How I was pushing away support and help in favour of struggling alone.
Self reliance is not about independence, but inter-dependence.
Its about the ability to meet your own needs and most importantly, to trust your own intuition and judgement. But in order to meet your own needs, you need to be able to accept that not everything is your strength.
True self reliance is recognition of our inherent tribal and symbiotic relationship with each other. Its recognition of our strengths and the strengths of others, and how when we are able to trust ourselves, we will make the right choices in how to get our needs met in a way that is healthful.
My husband is amazing at coming up with wonderful ideas, I am amazing at organising and making those wonderful ideas happen.
I’m great at folding clothes, its a genuine talent! He’s great at getting all the washing through the machine and dried.
I’m amazing at patiently working with the kids day in, day out, managing their needs, their difficult moments and helping them to regulate. He is amazing at getting everyone bedded down and settling to sleep.
I’m great at knowing what I need to be well, he is great at helping to carve out time in my day to make those things happen.
I rely on my own powers and abilities and I welcome the powers and abilities of those I’ve chosen to have in my life, to compliment them. Because that is truly how to get the shit done without causing damage to yourself.
I know that I am my own person, able to get all the things done. I trust and have evidence in my ability to do so, and if I had to, I’d be more than capable. But where is the fun in that? Where is the beautiful connection and collaboration?
And so, while I am proud of my ability to be self sufficient and self reliant, I am more proud of my journey to heal how those things were dangerously out of balance and actually coming from a trauma space. I am proud of my recognition in how in balance, self reliance is the act of using all things available to you, to provide yourself with what you need- and that when we are interdependent, our self reliance is not lost, but inhanced and complimented.
I welcome more of that as I move into the new year. More trust in self and more trust in relying on my ability to choose the right people to have around me to enhance the beautiful connection we all have and need.
Is your need to be independent and self sufficient in balance? Or is it born from fear of trusting yourself and the people you have around you?