Independence is spiritual? What? How? What does independence have to do with spirituality? If those are your thoughts, read on!
Modern animism is a holistic spiritual path. It puts sovereignty, or independence, at the bottom of the pyramid. I know lots of faith focus on community, or togetherness. We do too, but in order to make that connection happen, you have to be a sovereign person. Otherwise, you could be someone who has to be carried.
Taking Care of Me
We always look at Nature to tell us about the natural order of things. If you look around, all animals rear their young to be independent, self sufficient adults. When they are, they leave the nest and live their lives so that the species can continue.
That’s what being sovereign, or independent, is all about. You can take care of yourself. You know who you are, where you stand, what you want, and can provide for what you need. If a problem or crisis occurs, you can deal with that too. When someone crosses your boundaries, you assert yourself.
Living In the “We”
That sets you up to be in partnership with others. See, adults stand between the children and the elders. Someone has to be responsible for producing or procuring resources and reproducing so that the species continues. Children are not yet able to do that. Elders are still productive, but not as much as they used to be. Without those independent, capable adults holding up the sky for the young and old, the whole system falls apart. Humans are social creatures, and this is how interdependence works.
Now, adulthood is also a time for coupling. If you aren’t an independent adult, you aren’t in a great position to be in a romantic relationship. If your partner has to take care of your emotional, physical, spiritual, and intellectual needs, that’s a lot of work! It’s an unequal relationship, and those tend to be unsatisfying. When we come together as equals, we are in a better position to grow together. This keeps love alive.
You’ve seen people who habitually complain, blame, criticize, stonewall, or defend themselves, right? These people often have problems with connection. Nobody wants to be with someone who can’t connect. These are the things that destroy connection. When you are a sovereign person, you take responsibility. These things don’t happen. You may notice things that aren’t to your liking, but they don’t become your issues.
Independence is Spiritual
So, how does all that mean independence is spiritual? Well, a spiritual life is a holistic life. You have to have independence to live in the full expression of yourself. My mother was an immigrant. My father is a person of color. So, even though I didn’t personally know what it was like to not have choices or not have equal rights, my parents did. I’ve traveled enough to see this is other places. So I cherish the free expression that we all have. When you are powerless or can’t live in your fullness, you can’t live naturally or spiritually.
Birds don’t own the sky. They share it. They take what they need and no more. Nobody tells them who they are or how to live. They follow their nature. Other creatures do the same. The oak just is. When people live in the same way, they are their natural selves too. When they reach out and connect to the world around them and the All That Is, it’s the deepest expression of spirituality.
So, if you ask me “How are you celebrating your independence?” I will tell you that I am going to be showing the world my highest and truest self. I will be connecting to the big, wide worlds- people, Nature, apparent and Otherworld. I’d love to hear your plans.