In the spirit of independence, the therapists at MFT3 would like to acknowledge how difficult it can be to ask for help when you need it. After all, aren’t we all supposed to be able to manage our problems on our own? Shouldn’t we be able to keep all the balls in the air with our families, careers, and social obligations? Isn’t that what it means to be independent? In these difficult economic times, it’s important to recognize the impact that stress is having on our lives. The truth is that sometimes individual independence comes easily and other times, you need an army.
We challenge you to view independence as utilizing the proper resources to maintain a healthy emotional and physical state of well being, which doesn’t necessarily mean doing it on your own.
How does our concept of independence affect our relationships with our partners, children, family members, friends, and co-workers? How can we establish intimacy with our significant other while creating safe boundaries for ourselves in which we are able to express ourselves as individuals? How do we allow our children to be independent but also to continue to lean on us when they need us and offer guidance and wisdom in their lives?
All of this requires a balance, where we are comfortable letting others know our strengths and weaknesses and accept what is offered to us when there are too many responsibilities to juggle. It may mean not being the best at everything all the time. It may mean relinquishing control and coping with the uncertainty that comes with allowing someone else to do it their way. It may mean giving ourselves permission to be the leader and the follower, the rock and the tumultuous storm, to be independent and dependent.
We encourage you to start off your summer by being patient and kind to yourselves, by taking stock of your accomplishments and the successes of your family, and by recognizing that if there are areas of your life that call for a little less self sacrifice and a little more asking for help, help is available and asking for it is truly an independent act.
Happy Independence Day!