Contributor: Doron Gill, Ph.D.
We all love to celebrate Independence Day: fire-works, parties, drinking and eating, being with friends, maybe even with lovers (if we have one at the time). And we keep celebrating Independence Day once a year, year in, year out, as if this is something which has been engraved into our yearly routine, became part of our life-style, for ages.
But then, does celebrating Independence Day make us independent, free and able to pursue our own wishes and desires?
To put it more clearly: why are we accustomed to celebrating Independence Day on a regular yearly basis, and have not been accustomed to pursue our own independence on a daily, weekly and monthly basis? How many of us are enslaved in our own behavioral patterns, driving us to sabotage our relationships time and again, without us doing anything to learn what’s going on, what we do wrong, and consequently free ourselves from old patterns, change whatever needs change and empower ourselves to develop a truly healthy, loving and successful intimacy? Why is it so much easy to celebrate our nation’s Independence Day rather than our own?
One simple answer is, that we have learned to celebrate Independence Day from an early age, so it became something we have been accustomed to, while we haven’t learned to develop our own independence, freedom of mind and of expression.
Another explanation is, that it is easy to “join the club” and do whatever others are doing: this doesn’t require any deep thinking on our part; any deep commitment. We do what others do, we feel we belong, we are part of: So easy! So enlightening! So wonderful!
But then, as Independence Day approaches its end, as night falls upon the nation, upon the city, upon us, we go to bed and wake up next morning as if nothing has happened, nothing in us has change: we are still who we were, enslaved in our own habitual ways of doing things, struggling to continue with our search for a successful intimate relationship, looking for a partner who will fulfill our needs and desires, only to realize, once more, that the road to a satisfying relationship is still a long-shot away…
How to become truly independent!
As much as you have become used to celebrate Independence Day on a yearly basis, by the same token you can – even should! – become used to pursue your own independence, on a daily, weekly and monthly basis!
What does this entail?
Pursuing your own independence means, you decide to dig deep into the reasons which have made it difficult for you, until now, to find the relationship you have been looking for. “Digging deep” is not easy – no wonder you might have avoided doing it until now! But then, without looking inside and taking responsibility for your failures in relationships (rather than blaming others or the “circumstances”) you can’t release yourself – free yourself! – from whatever needs, fears, emotions and behaviors have driven you to sabotage your relationships time after time.
Freeing yourself and becoming independent is a first step towards a healthy and successful intimacy
It is only when you understand how you shot yourself in the foot until now, that you become able to take the necessary steps to stop using the same damaging ways in which you have managed yourself until now – ways which have failed your relationships time and again. It is only when you stop these damaging ways from reoccurring that you become able to change in a positive direction. It is only then that you can find a partner with whom to develop a successful intimacy.
The reason being, that only when you free yourself from your old damaging patterns of thought and behavior; only when you truly understand how you have sabotaged yourself until now, that you are free to begin adopting new ways of interaction, of give-and-take in a relationship.
It is only when you free yourself from your own needs, fears and issues which have dominated your life until now (such as: the endless need to receive love; the fear of being along; the feeling that “without a partner I am worthless”) that you can really take control of your life (rather than having these needs, fears and issues control you), thus make sensible decisions about partners and relationships.
It is when you free yourself and your approach to intimacy from a strength, rather than from a weakness (i.e., driven by fears and needs), that you stop letting yourself fall into relationships which are not for you, (or, even worst, let others take advantage of you or abusing you).
When you have freed yourself from your own damaging issues, and approach intimacy from a strength, you will not continue falling, time and again, into relationships with partners who are not for you who might, at the end of the day, will leave you, once again, alone, disappointed, embittered, sad, wondering “what’s the hell is going on, again?”.
Make your own Independence Day comes true
You don’t need to wait year-long to create your own Independence Day. You can begin creating it right now! Releasing yourself from old damaging habits, fears and needs and taking control of your life is something you shouldn’t wait for “to happen” – since it won’t, unless you initiate it, unless you pave the way to accomplishing it, paving your way to your own independence, and hence to a successful intimacy and to happiness.
There is a saying: “Better late than never”. And the soon you begin freeing yourself, the soon you will be able to celebrate your independence, coupled with a successful intimacy!
Doron Gil, Ph.D., an expert on Self-Awareness and Relationships, is a university teacher, workshop leader, counsellor and consultant, and the author of: “The Self-Awareness Guide to a Successful Intimate Relationship.” In his book Dr. Gil teaches you how to free yourself from needs and fears which sabotage your relationships, become independent in your own way, getting up the strength and becoming empowered to develop a successful intimacy.