Independence is confident self-reliance. We have the courage to see reality with our own eyes and not through the eyes of others. We dare to be our true selves. We make decisions without undue influence from others. We responsibily care for ourselves. We enjoy intimacy without enmeshment. We do not depend on another to define our value, or lose ourselves to love. We bring ourselves fully to a relationship yet honor the boundaries that protect each other’s dignity. We stand on our own holy ground.
In Family Life
The virtue of independence within a family is exemplified by fostering an environment where each member is encouraged to develop their autonomy and self-reliance while maintaining a sense of unity and support. It is demonstrated by allowing children to make age-appropriate decisions and learn from their experiences, teaching them crucial life skills, and instilling a sense of responsibility for their actions.
Parents should also respect each family member’s individuality, opinions, and personal space, allowing them to pursue their interests and goals. Independence within a family is a delicate balance between nurturing self-sufficiency and maintaining close emotional bonds, ensuring every member can confidently navigate life’s challenges while feeling loved and connected within the familial unit.
“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”
— Henry David Thoreau
The Practice of Virtue
- I think for myself.
- I am fully myself.
- I trust my own decisions.
- I enjoy healthy self-care.
- I do not burden my relationships with unrealistic expectations.
- I balance intimacy with self-reliance.