What I Mean By Spiritual Independence

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What I Mean By Spiritual Independence

spiritual independence cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward

WHAT IS SPIRITUAL INDEPENDENCE ANYWAY?

What is spiritual independence? 

Well, let's ask what is independence? This is what I mean when I say it:

Free from outside control.
Not dependent on another's authority.
Self-governing.
Not dependent on another for subsistence.
Free-standing.

I remember the backlash I received when I first introduced the concept of spiritual independence. 

People preferred that I had said "interdependence" because we shouldn’t be alone. But independence doesn’t mean being alone. I can be independent while interdependent with another. In fact, healthy interdependence depends on healthy independence.

I’ll use the relationship Lisa and I have as an example. 

We've been married for a while. We have a healthy relationship. It's taken tons of work. But the rewards make it worth it. 

We've learned how to be independent adults who choose to love each other. I have to be healthy as an individual. Lisa has to be healthy as an individual. When these two healthy individuals relate, then it is functional rather than dysfunctional. We can be interdependent rather than codependent. 

This is why I talk a lot about spiritual independence. 

I believe it is our 
right,
our responsibility,
and our reward
to be spiritually independent. 

I will not be controlled by another.
I will not surrender my autonomy to another.
I will not let other people assume governance over my spiritual life. 

I choose how to be spiritual. I may ask others for guidance. But that’s my power of choice.

Those who assume spiritual authority don’t like this because they lose control. Power structures and people with power don’t like their followers to be independent.

But it is absolutely necessary if we want to grow.

Be independent! Don’t get pulled back into codependence.

You are free! 
Live free!


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