Rebecca Elia's Blog

All about Feminine Health, Healing, and Greece

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Dark Side of Independence

This comes with a warning. It’s not the post one would expect for a Fourth of July celebration. For me, “independence” has become a bad word. I mean, as women in our country, what has “independence” brought us…certainly not freedom, not the freedom we all need and desire? More women than ever before are working harder, longer hours, for less pay.

Don’t get me wrong. We are blessed. We are a great nation. Our independence is the basis of all creative expression which, initially, made us a planetary leader. But this same independence also created disasters, both personal and global.

Independence is a necessary and masculine quality. We all must leave the nest, so to speak, to discover our own potential, to develop our unique internal gifts, to become self-sufficient…but in the U.S. we’ve gone over the deep-end. Somewhere, along the way, we’ve left interdependence, responsibility and community on the wayside. Like all feminine qualities, they are so devalued that we’re suffering the consequences. We have, in fact, been suffering the consequences for generations, but it is only now that we’re at the point of no return.

Now that we no longer sit at the top of the economic world, we no longer have the highest number of well-educated individuals, we no longer have the greatest amount of resources at our disposal (because we’ve already used them up, turned them into non-biodegradable rubbish, and discarded them), what do we have? We have our creative expression, our freedom of expression. Because of this, I am hopeful. We still have a major role to play in creative solutions to the multiple problems that face our planet. Despite my faith being shaken by the inability of even our top scientists to come up with a viable solution to the gulf spill, I still believe that we hold this ability, this opportunity, and this responsibility. We must be the ones to come up with solutions, solutions for all the disasters we’ve participated in creating. We have no other choice.

So, what does all of this have to do with women, with the feminine? As women, we’ve learned how to act independently. We’ve learned this so well we’ve forgotten the importance of interdependence. We live in a society that has also forgotten. And here’s the key. If the problem is a predominance of independent action, then the solution is interdependent action. We forgot responsibility. We forgot the results of our excessive push forward. The answer is solutions that come through creating community efforts, taking into account the consequences of each action, acting in a responsible way. And this type of action is second-nature to most women, to most mothers and some fathers. How do good mothers make decisions? Without thinking, they first answer the question, how will this affect my child, our family? Mothers make extraordinary decisions and changes both during pregnancy and beyond that they would never make for themselves. They quit smoking, they eat healthy foods, they change jobs, they change their lifestyle, they let go of all that is non-essential, they look at the bigger picture, they see how every decision, every action, affects their child’s future.

This Independence Day I challenge us to celebrate our interdependence. I challenge us to accept the responsibility that came with the incredible freedom we’ve been given. I challenge us to make our decisions the way a mother would. I challenge us to value our women and children, our earth, our world.

Happy Interdependence Day, Everyone!