Yesterday I explored the idea of Independence in the patriotic sense and the human condition.
The “human condition” is defined as:
“the characteristics, key events, and situations which compose the essentials of human existence, such as birth, growth, emotionality, aspiration, conflict, and mortality” – Wikipedia
As I concluded I came to realize that in all of my self-defining as “fiercely independent”, with the passing of my mom, that I was not nearly as fierce or independent has I had given myself credit. Yet the other side of this realization is that I am also the last to ask for help, want help or accept help. I am fortunate that those that are closest to me know this to be my weakness and they simply insert themselves where they know I need them without waiting for my request…that will ultimately never come.
Today’s thought of the day explores the two sides of this coin and in practice seems like the best compromise for those of us that have a need to not feel reliant but deep inside long for reliance. I long for people I can count on, I long for partners, I long to be cared for and while I don’t ask, I show the longing I want through my own actions. I consider myself to be reliable; able to counted on, a great partner and I care for those that I love beyond what they know they need. (Gary is always reminding me that I am solving for problems that don’t even exist…insert my need to be needed…Thank you David Lao for passing that along!)
As I choose to explore the “human condition” from the emotional point of view we all need to be cared for, to be a part of something which may trump a theory of independence. The reality is that part of being independent is to know when to rely on others and how to “deploy your armies”. I talk about the theory of “deploying your armies” at work with my talented Sales Team all the time; however let’s explore this from a personal point of view.
- You first have to know who you can count on. This requires you to look at your circle and start “closing” it. When we look at the circle of those that we allow to surround us we have to look at it from a lens of “give and take”. Inevitably there is an inequality of TAKE in some of those relationships that is not serving us well. The work here is for us to remove those from that circle. I am not suggesting that you have to make a PSA that they are being removed from the circle but that you know you are pushing them to an outer circle will be enough of a conscious decision.
- You are going to be surprised at who is left in that circle as I promise you there are people that you don’t acknowledge as “close” that are inevitably giving more to you than you deserve. By identifying these people you are then able to serve them better because again they are frequently the ones that you have not acknowledged and therefore are giving more to you then you give back. It’s a great way to “check” yourself!
- Once the circle is closed and YOUR army is identified you can then deploy what you need from each of those soldiers and in turn what you intend to give back.
Let me give you my greatest example that I am honoring today…
- My BFF Maria has been in my life since the early 90’s where we met at work. Maria and I were great friends throughout our time working together as our boys were born months apart and our Latina bond (hers far more obvious than mine) cemented the bond.
- When we moved to Central Florida Maria and her family followed us up as Dan, her husband, became my AGM at the hotels we were managing. They moved five houses down and we became closer as neighbors.
- As life would have it, the hotel sold and I went on to a new company and Dan took a job back down in SFL separating our families once again.
- We never lost touch, and would get together a couple of times a year to vacation together always starting again right where we had left off months before but not having daily contact.
FAST FORWARD TO MY SOLDIER and CAPTAIN OF MY CIRCLE:
- When my mother became ill I would come to know that this relationship was more than a couple of vacations a year. You see here is how it showed itself:
- I did not ASK for a thing! Maria showed up everywhere; regardless of my asking, my need, my want, desire, control…
- Through phone calls, text messages and checking in with Gary at the very end when my entire world revolved around my mom and I was not able to communicate.
- During this year she would come up to visit which became her taking care of me, us, even for a weekend at a time. She always left us better than she found us despite my fighting with her to NOT do my dishes, NOT cook for us, no, no, no…she simply did not take NO ever! And for this I cannot ever express enough gratitude as I needed her in those moments more than I could have ever communicated. I needed to be taken care of, I needed to feel loved, I needed Maria to take control…despite knowing I needed it.
- The final moment, the one that set in stone my love for Maria FOREVER was at my mom’s service. I had decided to do the eulogy which I knew would be the most important speaking engagement I would EVER take on. Again, I knew what I had to do to get up, get it done and then….oh man, I never thought about what might happen when I walked away from that podium…I LOST IT. As I caught my breath and looked up there was Maria and her boys at my feet, hugging me, loving me. She didn’t think about it, she didn’t ask for permission, she didn’t worry about the pomp and circumstance of the occasion, she saw her friend in need, in pain and she ran to save her…me…ugh…that moment will NEVER leave me.
I offer you this as my blog today to give further insight to what independence, dependence and reliance can all mean in your life when deployed and truly exercised daily. You will get the most out of your life, when you can identify the differences as I continue to define daily.
- Dependence – the state of relying on or being controlled by someone or something else.
- Reliance – dependence on or trust in someone or something
- Dependence vs. Reliance – reliance is the act of relying on someone or something; trust while dependence is the state of being dependent, of relying upon another.
So for today I am still FIERCELY Independent, with a dependence on those closest to me that I know I can rely on. #NotAlone #MyMaria