The Independence of Relationship

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Independence | American Flag | Relationship InsuranceI love contradictions, or seemingly opposing concepts, especially ones that force me to think about things in a new way.

Relationship vs Independence

The concepts of relationship versus independence is one of my favorites because there are many ideas about them both that make them seem opposite, when they actually don’t have to be. In fact, having a healthy relationship requires a most precious kind of freedom.

Many of us have heard sayings about relationships such as “the old ball and chain” which basically equates exclusive relationships and marriage to some kind of imprisonment or lack of freedom.  Even the saying “Tying the knot” can bring images of being bound and restricted.

Many of us have also heard people (perhaps even ourselves at one point or another) say how much we love being single…further implying that a relationship is a limiting, confining thing to be in.

What is the Message?

So, what is really happening here?  What messages are we being told and what are we telling ourselves?  How is it that most people spend so much time and energy pushing for love and at the same time, pushing against it?  If relationships are synonymous with losing our freedom, then why do we spend so much time and energy wishing and wanting for one? Why the contradiction?  What if we are not looking at this from a healthier perspective?  I am one of the first people to admit that an unhealthy relationship or a controlling kind of commitment can feel like a ball and chain, or a restriction…and that being in a lonely relationship is even lonelier than being alone; however, let’s pay attention to the words we are using and the stories we are telling about relationships and make sure we are not only acknowledging a healthier view, but expecting to give and receive committed love in a healthier way.  Let’s live a healthier, loving story. It starts with paying attention to our own beliefs and how we talk about love.  A shift in perspective and definition are in order here.

Can committing to love actually provide more freedom instead of less?

For me, being committed to a healthy, loving relationship affords me something that few people on the outside actually see; it gives me greater independence.  It gives me a place where I am safe and supported to be 100% myself.  It gives me a place to land in the arms of another who will hold me if I have fallen too hard.  It gives me the freedom to live, learn and share with another person who is committed to “us” as well.  It does NOT diminish me, or confine me to a subservient role.  It does NOT limit my possibilities of who I can become. in fact, it supports me in taking the risk of stretching myself and really striving to be my best.  It also stretches me to be the kind of person who can support someone else this same way.

I realize that in so few words, the picture of my relationship may look as if I have painted it with a rose-colored brush, but I do not mean to imply that the independence possible in a relationship is always easy.  The independence found in being single is not always easy either.

Freedom as a Core Value

I am not interested in being controlled, limited, or being trapped.  Freedom is one of my strongest core values; and it is for my husband as well.  We honor and respect that in each other.  We have both agreed that we are here to support each other’s personal growth, personal goals, spiritual expansion while sharing materials resources too.   I am committed to this relationship, but not at the cost of being myself either.  I have not lost myself by committing to a relationship with someone else.  We add to each other with the understanding that neither of us were less than whole without the other.  We have expanded each other over time; not always blissfully or eagerly;  sometimes that expansion comes from the challenge of finding added personal strength for more patience and compassion than you thought you would originally need.

The relationship bond is not the same as personal bondage inflicted upon each other or an undue control or management of another person; unless of course you decide it is and choose to limit yourself, your mate and the expansion that is possible as you support each other’s freedom to be real, to be safe, to truly be your best selves, to be loved and to give love from a completely vulnerable and freeing state of heart.

Today is Independence Day.  Are you willing to free yourself and your mate through committing to be real and accept, love and support each other through life?

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