How many of us feel tied to our jobs, families, past or other anchors or bricks in our lives? The United States declared their Independence from England. Unheard of. How strange! England ruled the World…..the sun never set on their Empire. The Upstarts that wrote out and established their Independence changed the World in a fundamental way. Sadly, not everyone in the United States is free. Those in the greatest bondage are children. True children need to be cared for and nurtured but too often they are used and abused mere pawns in a game they neither understand nor want to be in. Some people can’t wrap their minds what happens to some children behind closed doors. Like elephants, chained from the time they are young as adults freedom seems to be the stuff dreams are made of. I lived a fear based limited life because that was all I knew. Counseling changed that. My therapist challenged me to stop giving my power away. I looked at him totally dumb founded. What power? I didn’t have any power! In my mind, I didn’t. My counselor pointed out how deformed and crumbling the foundation of my thinking was….he also pointed out how comforting my lack of independence was for me. What? Comforting? I didn’t make a decision. If anything went wrong, it was someone else’s fault. I was responsible for nothing yet over responsible and trying to take responsibility for things that were not mine to keep. My foundation of thinking about myself and my relationships was so screwed up. The delicate balance my counselor strove to achieve was to help me declare my independence while keeping me married and his goal was to enhance my marriage not pull it apart. In my childhood, marriage was a form of bondage, enmeshed and dependent. He taught me that a healthy marriage is between two strong independent people that purposely tie themselves to gain strength from their partner, like mountain climbers. I am so impressed that he succeeded. This past year my husband and I had several experiences that pushed us to the limits of our strength and resources. I learned DH (Darling Husband) has my back. He is there when I am feeling out flanked. I am there for him when times get tough.
So how does one Declare their Independence? Where did my counselor have me start?
He first impressed on my thinking the foreign concept that I was a person of value and worth and deserved happiness.
He worked to get past my massive barrier of distrust by being trustworthy.
He stripped away the distortions that were ingrained since childhood.
He shown a light on the dark secrets of my past.
He helped me sort through what I was responsible for and when I was a puppet with someone else pulling my strings.
Conversations were painful, in depth, and rocked my world.
I felt a bit like I was inside one of those snow globes that was shook up and everything swirled around me.
He taught me to write my own bill of rights.
He taught me to fight for my rights.
He also taught me to pick my battles carefully.
He showed me that I had choices.
He also carefully worked to keep me from becoming dependent on him. He reminded me repeatedly he was working himself out of a job by teaching the skills I needed so that I could function independently.
I traveled on an amazing journey through counseling.
I believe it was worth it. Independence is a state of mind that leaves me with choices and opportunities I never dreamed possible.