Not sure if you know, but I’m actually really cool. I moved abroad and I barely even call home because I don’t need family anymore. So independent, so cool.
Yeah, and I often just block God out and say ‘I’ve got this’, because I’m that capable and awesome. I can make it on my own.
If you didn’t already know how hip and cool I am, that’s because I’m not at all.
I’ve just created the belief in my head that doing life on my own makes me awesome, which is entirely untrue. All that my independence does is show me up for my fear of vulnerability and my arrogance, which is so not cool.
Strength is important to have so that we can dodge the curve balls that life throws at us. However strength and independence are not the same, and independence is not the goal. Independence from people is lonely. Independence from God? That’s a sin.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
Yes, I can stand on my own two feet. I am capable of looking after myself and had to learn pretty fast, which is great and something I am proud of. But I am never enough. I still need God, need my family, and need my friends. That is not a sign of weakness or a bad thing in the slightest, which I am only just beginning to accept.
Vulnerability is strength unarmed.
I started to think about all this recently when I was really ill. I had a nasty virus and was bed ridden for the best part of 7 days. It was horrible and it was the loneliest I had felt in a long time. I could have reached out to my friends and my housemates for help. I didn’t because I didn’t want to bother anyone or look completely pathetic.
If I didn’t try to do it on my own, that week wouldn’t have been so dark for me. I would have had food in the house and regained strength, but instead I didn’t eat for over a day and got worse. Pa-the-tic.
I’m probably more vulnerable with my counselor than anyone. When I saw him and we talked about my week, it came out: I desperately needed love and attention but I was too scared to ask for it. The independence was a facade to hide that.
I’m learning that fierce independence is more pathetic than vulnerability. It’s a guard so that people can’t see what’s really going on. It’s isolating and dangerous.
The main point is that we all need support, and though we all need a level of independence as adults, taking it too far isn’t cool.
So I quit, because to be vulnerable is to truly be strong.
Can you relate? Are you independent, or do you struggle to be independent? Leave a comment.