As a society, we have become reliant on what other people say and do. We seek direction from external influences for our pleasure and purpose. I wonder if it’s because our human desire is to be seen and accepted, so we follow who and what is getting attention. The downside of turning to the outside world for fulfillment is that we literally turn our attention outward – to what others are doing and saying – and we ignore our own inner voice.

I do this (and I watch my kids doing this too) when I turn to social media influencers to show me what it looks like to be happy or when I look at numbers of likes and followers as a measure of self-worth. Ultimately, none of the ‘wanting’ or ‘comparing’ makes me happy.

The more aware I am about interacting with the world this way, the more concerned I am about the future! We already know that when we become dependent on things and people outside of ourselves for joy and acceptance, we become dissociated from our self and “unable” to do it and feel it for ourselves. One of the great dangers in this is that we can become co-dependent on each other for strength and connection. Strength in numbers may work in some situations but not when it comes to caring for your emotional well-being. For love, depending on anyone or anything other yourself will only lead to hurt and disappointment.

So, how do you learn to love yourself and create your own joy? By learning to turn your attention inward and trusting your own voice. I am working on this every day. Here are some reminders that help me. I hope they may help you too.

Trust Yourself

When you place your trust in someone else to care for your needs, you hand over the key to your heart. You let someone else drive your {love} bus. You have no control over how or where the bus will go. Or, who or what will get on the bus. This is not a comfortable place to be.

However, when you start trusting your voice and following your truth, you take back the key. You start thinking for yourself and trusting your choices. You become the driver of your own life and the creator of your own path.

Make Waves

Make waves and don’t be upset if others resist the rise in your energy. It’s ok to change direction in your life if your beliefs or habits are no longer serving your health and well-being. Change is healthy. It is a sign of growing up and becoming self-reliant. If others resist the changes by saying that YOU are changing, it only means that they aren’t comfortable with your growth. Comformity pleases others. Growth excites you. Keep growing!

Time Alone 

In my experience, the only way to hear your inner voice clearly is to not hear the voices of others. This requires time alone (away from other humans). As a person who loves interaction, this was hard for me until I realized that I can be alone with and interact with nature. This led to my forest walking practice which led to my practice of tuning into my inner voice.

Follow Your Heart Compass

In his essay titled Self-Reliance [Essays, 1841], Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumphs of principles.”

As y’all know, I choose joy, kindness, courage and calm as my guiding principles on the path.  For me, it is the triumph of these principles that is the way of self-reliance.

Let’s choose to live in peace by being self-reliant. This is the path to joy, love and stability.

 Thank you for being here. Next time, we’ll explore the topic of contentment.

Let’s journey together.

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With love,