What are you dependent on?

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

What are you dependent on? | The Organic Beauty Blog

“When I accept myself, I am freed from the burden of needing you to accept me.” – Dr. Steve Maraboli

As the 4th of July approaches, I’ve been thinking a lot about independence and freedom.  Though I am no less a patriot than the next gal, my thinking has been more personal, as opposed to civic.  Namely, that of emotional independence.  In my own life, and in my work with my beloved clients, emotional dependency (on food, on a relationship, on a way of being or thinking) is a big recurring theme, and is often times a huge barrier to feeling joy and living the life we crave.

So I ask you this: where in your life do you feel dependent, and how does that dependency make you feel?

Maybe it’s on your parents for approval, which makes you feel like a failure, immature, or like you’re constantly striving.

Maybe it’s on your significant other for validation, which makes you feel insecure, needy, or hurt when you’re not getting what you need.

Maybe it’s on a certain disempowering thought, like, “I will never lose weight,” which keeps you stuck, a victim, and powerless.

As humans, we are constantly seeking happiness, validation, praise, and love — be it consciously or unconsciously.  But relying on external sources for these emotions can get us into a lot of trouble.  Instead, the true path to feeling satisfied, fulfilled, loved, and whole lies within us. {Tweet it!}

This isn’t to say that love and support from people in your life isn’t important, or that depending on certain external factors like a beautiful home, a gym membership, or even your weekly CSA deliveries doesn’t lead to greater health and happiness.  Those things are all great, vital… But ultimately, they can be fleeting. Your best friend could move to Peru, your relationship with your partner could end, your financial circumstances could change.  If you are wholly dependent on these external factors for your happiness, what happens to your happiness, your life, your sense of SELF when they are no longer around?

So in honor of Independence Day, I want to offer you 5 ways to gain more emotional independence, and to start being an endless fount of love, support, comfort and validation for your SELF.

1. Take the best possible care of your SELF.

Your body and mind are the temple of your soul, and if you neglect them, deprioritize them, and keep putting everyone and everything else first, you’re left with a pretty barren temple.  Instead of getting bogged down by those 50 things that you think you should be doing, focus on the 4 or 5 that give you the greatest benefit.  Create your own, personal recipe for self-care that works for YOU. Not what you saw on TV, or what your friends are doing, or what you read in a magazine.

2. Create space for SELF-reflection.

A huge part of feeling emotional independence is allowing yourself the space to just be with YOU.  Take walks, get out in nature, meditate, daydream, write.  Do whatever feels best for you, and do it regularly.  There is no right or wrong way to do this, as long as you are giving yourself the space to hear your inner voice, connect to your desires, and FEEL.

3.  Practice letting go.

When something doesn’t go your way, get into the habit of taking 3 deep breaths before reacting.  So he didn’t call you back, so you didn’t get that promotion, so your haircut didn’t turn out the way you wanted… These things don’t mean anything about you or your life, and yet, they can make us or break us from day to day.  Pausing to take 3 deep breaths creates a powerful response in your parasympathetic nervous system, which allows you time to process, calm down, and be ok with whatever happened.

4. Be your own cheerleader.

Being dependent on others for praise leaves us constantly in search of that validation, which usually never comes, at least not in the way we want it to.  Instead, be your own source of praise.  Everyday, focus on what went great, what you did well, what you have to be grateful for.  Gratitude journaling before bed works well for a lot of people, but you can also just get in the habit of praising yourself in your own head.  It can feel unnatural at first, but you’ll get the hang of it!

5. Be generous of your SELF.

When we are in a place of needing, we tend to actually repel the very thing we are seeking.  Try instead to be a source of whatever it is you want to attract.  If you are seeking love, show love to the people in your life, without any expectation or condition.  If you seek abundance, be generous with your time and resources.  If you seek validation, be open with your praise of others.  When you are the source of all you want to be feeling, you don’t need others to fulfill that need for you, yet you naturally attract tons of it in your own life.  Scarcity, want, jealousy, and fear breed more of the same, as does love, gratitude, generosity, and joy.


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