Cherishing Personal Independence

In the last few weeks, I’ve experienced a new-found appreciation for independence because I have lost some of mine. Hobbling in a boot or maneuvering on a knee scooter makes you realize how often you simply jump up and do things without thinking about it. Having to ask for help, and then waiting for it, when you haven’t needed it before causes you to cherish independence.

Following are some of the qualities of personal independence:

Freedom

One of the hardships of my current circumstances is the inability to drive. I have a new understanding for the freedom associated with driving and empathy for those who no longer can. Independence provides a sense of freedom. You make decisions and implement them without running those decisions by a committee and waiting for approval.

As a teen, I remember longing for the day when I could drive independently and the freedom it would afford. When that day finally came, it felt odd, and a little scary to navigate the road without a parent in the car with me.

Often, when the freedom we long for comes, we realize accountability is a big part of that independence. Our decisions and actions affect others. Therefore, freedom comes with the caveat of responsibility. Many do not take the responsibility aspect of freedom seriously and do irreparable damage to themselves and others.

Mobility

In recent months, I’ve read several WWII novels and been reminded of the restricted mobility faced by those in Europe during the war. Travel required visas, gas rationing limited travel, and curfews curtailed mobility.

America is a mobile society. We go where we please when we please. Visas aren’t required. If we choose to get in the car and drive to the opposite coast, we can do it without applying for a travel permit or waiting for permission.

You gain a new appreciation for mobility when yours is compromised. When mobility lessens, you adjust, but your world narrows. You make decisions based on ease of movement and delay that which taxes energy. Mobility is one of the blessings of independence.

 The Personal Independence Myth

Personal independence gives a sense of control, but God created us with the desire to interact with others. Independence can isolate, causing you to believe you don’t need God, or others, in your life. But through interaction with others, we experience fellowship, cheer each other on, learn, grow, and build each other up.

Cherish the independence that allows you to function without aid, but remember interdependence isn’t a sign of weakness. Interdependence is mutually beneficial, aiding forward motion, and providing support and encouragement for struggles in the journey of life.

“Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. Live as servants of God” (1 Peter 2:16 NCV).

©CandyArrington

Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving through, and beyond, difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including: Inspiration.org, Arisedaily.com, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, Focus on the Family, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well (Bold Vision Books), When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House), and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).

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