Is independence the key to happiness?

I believe that independence is the key to happiness. Independence is a basic human need. 

Independence is, what I feel, is one of the most admirable traits a person can have. And, when others describe me as an independent woman, I think this is one of the greatest compliments I have received.

Darlene Lancer, author on Psych Central, describes autonomy as, being able to "govern your own life and that you endorse your actions."

 "Your actions are determined by your beliefs, needs, and values, which give you more control over thoughts and emotions," she wrote. 

But, although I have my own apartment and make my own money, independence is something I have, honestly, always found difficult.  As a self-prescribed people pleaser, it is extremely difficult for me not to base my self worth on other's opinions of me. I am definitely a very emotional person. And when I love, I love with my entire heart. This leaves me vulnerable and exposed — more likely to be hurt. 

I think independence is a quality you can have whether you're single or not, living alone or with family. Independence is more of a state of mind than anything.

As John Grohol, Psy. D, says on Psych Central, "A healthy relationship actually fosters and encourages each other’s independent self." 

Because putting all of your faith in another person to make you happy isn't realistic. I know all too well that people will let you down. The only way for you to be truly happy is to rely on the only person you can control — yourself. To know that no matter what happens, you are a strong person who can make it through. 

One way to declare your own destiny is not to let others bring you down. I know this is easier said than done. But there are some people in this world, like a little kid killing bugs with a magnifying glass, who like to hurt others for no reason at all. And this does not mean anything is wrong with you. 

For instance, a stranger went up to my friend Megan yesterday. Her hair is dyed a beautiful bright red — and this inconsiderate and judgmental stranger said to her that she should not go out in public with hair looking like that. Does this mean there is anything wrong with my friend? Absolutely not. I can tell you that the person saying this to her could use some self-examination. She's the one who has so little confidence in herself that she needs to put others down. 

Also know that even those who care most about you and those you care most about will say things that hurt you. Just like you will probably say things to hurt them. People are not perfect. Don't let it fester inside of you. Don't let it define you. 

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