Categories
Philosophy

How to Heal from Hyper Independence Trauma

There is an interesting phenomena in our world impacting many people from a young age. It gets re-worded and people rationalize it, but I believe it to be detrimental to having personal happiness. This phenomena is called hyper independence.

Hyper independence, sometimes called Ultra independence has been classified as a trauma response for when an individual fails to have their needs met by their caregivers. They develop an attitude that they will be the only person who can meet their needs, and in their later years will wall themselves off to genuine trust in relationships. 

I have noticed there are various degrees of hyper independence. I think it’s rare to see extreme cases where an individual completely closes themselves off to the outside world and when this happens it tends to be labeled something more extreme. The more common occurrences which I observe tend to include things like:

  • Unwilling to ask for help, especially when struggling
  • Difficulty being vulnerable with others
  • An inability to accept circumstances 
  • Anxiousness surrounding uncertainty

People with hyper independent behaviors tend to be reliable and well respected by their peers. Our society views independence as a good thing, and it is, except when it is taken to the extreme. The glorification of independence often creates a distorted perspective of what it really is. Independence is something to be valued when it enables you to meet your own needs. Being able to pay your own bills, take care of yourself, and the freedom to create the life you want to live are all valuable parts of being independent.

However, being independent doesn’t mean being alone. There are many movies with a “Lone Wolf” protagonist. Mad Max, I Am Legend, Book of Eli. Interesting how many of them take place in a post-apocalyptic setting. While these characters are fun to watch in movies, in reality, traveling across a wasteland with nothing but a dog for company would be immensely difficult. Humans are social creatures. It is hardwired into our biology to be a part of a group and build connections with other humans. When we deny ourselves these experiences whether by choice or circumstance, we suffer negative physiological responses.

Unfortunately, the world is a bit different than the environment we evolved in. Thousands of years ago we lived in tribes and basically new everyone we lived with. Even as cities formed, people would still gather in the town square and making connections with others held the same level of importance to our survival. It is only now, in the Age of Information, where we have this illusion of being connected but truly separate. Things like social media and Zoom allow us to feel connected, and overall I think they are good, but they don’t  replace the genuine connection of being face to face with someone. They don’t allow for people to physically help someone who is going through a tough time. If your eyes are the windows to your soul, then a screen would be like having limousine tints.

The good news is these behaviors can be unlearned. Hyper independence, like many trauma responses, is a way for an individual to feel safe when their environment feels unsafe and persists even after their environment has become safe again. When we are no longer living our life in fight-or-flight mode, we have the opportunity to heal our old wounds and develop healthier, more fulfilling ways of living. If you struggle with hyper independent behaviors, there’s more good news. It’s up to you to change the behavior.

I have found people to work best with incremental changes. It can cause a lot of stress to make a 180 degree shift in your behavior. Most people can start by asking for help, or better yet, accept help when it is offered. It’s quite likely you’ll be able to do whatever tasks people are offering help for, after all, we built our lives on doing things for ourselves, but that’s not the point. Accepting help develops our ability to trust others, and the easier the task, the more likely they will show they can be trusted. 

When we develop a significant amount of trust with someone, it opens the door to be vulnerable. Then it is just a matter of taking the leap. Although if you put it off long enough, you might get lucky and have a break down, forcing you to be vulnerable with someone. I wouldn’t recommend that path but the universe cares more about learning the lesson than how difficult the lesson might be. Being vulnerable is an extension of trust, and trust is a result of nurturing a relationship.

Some of the issues around hyper independence are more complex but all of them really result from distrust. At a young age our caregivers showed they were unable to provide for us and as a result it created a sense of distrust in other people and the world. We felt we could trust only ourselves and in all honesty, we got pretty good results. It’s only once we reach the next step in our healing that these behaviors become an issue.

Any way you can develop more trust with other people is a good thing, and don’t worry about people abusing your trust. With hyper independent people it usually isn’t given without good cause! It may not come easy but if this is something you struggle with and want to heal, I know you’re more than capable of it!

I hope this article has been helpful to you whether you struggle with hyper independent behaviors or simply want to be more aware of things others might be struggling with. If you’re interested in a coaching session, hope on over to my Book a Lesson tab and we will find something that works for you. I wish you happiness and blessings in all that you do.

To my fellows, may your seeking be fruitful and your findings bountiful! 

Categories
Personal

Retrograde Explained: How to Use Stars for Your Improvement

A lot of people hearken to the words of astrologers whenever retrograde is mentioned. “Don’t sign a contract when Mercury is in retrograde.” Or, “New relationships during Venus retrograde are bound to fail.” Statements like these always make people extra cautious but what does “retrograde” really entail?

In case you don’t know what retrograde is, let me fill you in.

Retrograde is a time when planets in the sky appear to move backwards in their orbit. They aren’t actually moving backwards. They are moving further away from the sun (because orbits are perfect circles) or earth, which creates the appearance of moving backwards from our perspective. This can potentially cause them to move backwards into a previous sign, at least from our point of view. This process of “moving backwards” has many implications on how the energy of that planet is acting.

In general, when a planet is in retrograde its energy is distorted and/or reversed. This affects the different aspects of life the planet is said to “rule over”. Let’s take the most common one for example, Mercury retrograde. Mercury rules over the mind, intellect, communication, travel, technology and many other things. When Mercury is acting normal or “direct” all these things will work fine. However, when Mercury is in retrograde, these things will typically not act as planned. Because Mercury is said to affect our minds, we may not be able to come to proper conclusions as easily. We may have distorted perceptions about a situation and our communication with others may be affected because our ability to reason is distorted. 

Of course, all these things happen seamlessly between the planet going from direct to retrograde. The first Law of Alchemy tells us everything outside of us is also inside of us. In many ways, the shifting states of the planet appear as normal as the changes we experience from one day to the next. Because of this, humans have to use astrology to know “oh a planet is in retrograde, things may appear normal but they’re not”. 

Some aspects of retrograde are very beneficial if used appropriately. In many cases, the retrograde phase is a time for reflection or personal growth. The energy of a planet is distorted and provides a new way to observe ourselves. As with a kaleidoscope, turning the wheel changes the picture we see in it. During retrograde, we are turning the wheel and seeing a different part of ourselves.

Additionally, retrograde is part of a natural cycle. In Western society we try and ignore cycles in favor of routine. We like to have consistent application of our time and energy and we get upset when life requires us to adapt to an unforeseen circumstance. Although, in reality everything always has and will be a cycle. Farmers don’t get bent out of shape when the seasons change. They act accordingly.

Learning to slow down and adapt our behavior to retrograde is not something most people are used to and you may get some weird looks for following it. I remember when I was looking to buy a house last year. I had been looking at houses for a couple of months and I finally found one that looked good to me. However, Mercury had entered retrograde not too long before finding the house. My real estate agent was trying to find me a house, so when I brought up my hesitation, naturally there was some confusion. Well the house ended up getting bought by someone else because I decided to wait. About a week after Mercury retrograde ended, I looked at the house again and it just didn’t feel the same to me. The parts of it I found appealing, now seemed like extra work. I felt great relief knowing I didn’t get a loan for a house I would later not want. 

I will admit, there are times when it feels like listening to a retrograde forecast is pseudoscientific. Do I really have to change my behavior because of a planet in the sky? No, you don’t. For the most part, I go about my business albeit with some increased awareness about the present moment. However, I do believe it can be very beneficial when making big decisions. 

Okay, but what if I can’t wait?

Sometimes we don’t have the luxury of postponing a decision. Sometimes the situation simply requires action. In those cases, I think of the sailors out at sea. A storm comes in out of the blue and now we have to deal with it. We do our best to handle the situation regardless of the forces acting against us. I believe in these situations humans are able to rise to the occasion.

Just because a planet is in retrograde doesn’t mean we should stop living our life for a few weeks or months. In fact, the majority of the planet doesn’t pay attention to them so your “reasons” will become “excuses”. However, it can be a time to be more gentle with ourselves. Most of my work is done on a computer. I can’t just stop working during a retrograde period, but if my computer randomly loses internet connection or is slower than normal, I take a moment to laugh about it.

There are many lessons to be learned during retrograde periods. They offer an extraordinary time to grow as the impurities of your character will be highlighted. If we don’t resist the lessons being given to us we will find, overtime, the retrograde periods aren’t as serious. They become the changing seasons and we become the farmers planting seeds. We know when to harvest crops, save food and start anew. We adapt to the cycle and it ceases to be a bump in the road.

If you enjoyed this article, make sure to check out some of my other posts. Also hop on over to the Videos tab and check out my recently started YouTube Channel. If there is a specific topic you would like to learn, leave a comment below or email me to set up a private lesson.

To my fellows, may your seeking be fruitful and your findings bountiful!

Categories
Personal Philosophy

My Adventure to the Grand Canyon: A Soul’s Discovery

This past week, I took a trip to see the Grand Canyon. At the last minute, the other person I was planning to go with had to cancel. Although hotel reservations had been made, no money had officially been spent. So, I still had the opportunity to back out. I talked about this with a close friend in my circle and he brought up how this would be an opportunity for growth. It would be just God, myself and over 1000 miles of road. Oh yeah, I was driving. Here are some of the spiritual takeaways from my solitary five day trip.

Adventure is what YOU make of it

Early on in the trip I started to experience some frustration. I was almost through New Mexico, had been driving all day, and was still several hours away from my destination. Originally the plan had been to stop and get a hotel in Roswell, NM. However, when I arrived there I was making such good time I figured I could get all the way to Flagstaff, AZ. Without realizing, I had turned the adventure into a mission.

“I have to see the Grand Canyon,” had become the purpose of the journey. It was no longer about self discovery. Although the Grand Canyon was the destination, this slight shift in perspective turned it into the sole reason for the trip. Every other aspect of the trip became a peripheral concern. I would only be fulfilled upon achieving my goal. 

I started to wonder why I took this trip. I thought to myself, “I’m driving over 1000 miles one way, far from my friends and family to see what? A big hole in the ground?” 

I had to reflect on my reasons for going on the trip alone. By going alone, I could adhere entirely to my own schedule. I would have time to be with myself and ponder my experiences. I would be free from external influence and the beauty of the trip would be entirely of my own understanding. Reflecting on my reasons for traveling alone centered me and enabled me to redirect my energy towards the original purpose. Getting to know more about myself.

The following day, after spending the night in Gallup, NM, I did things I wanted to do. I was only three hours away from Flagstaff, so I hiked the Red Rock Trails, saw The Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Parks, and talked to several Natives about the Navajo culture and tradition. Looking back, I enjoyed those parts of the trip more than actually seeing the Grand Canyon, which I assure you, is much more than a “hole in the ground”.

Benefits of Prolonged Solitude

Most people do not find spending five days alone very appealing. I definitely didn’t. At least at first. It is one thing to sit in meditation and practice stillness. However, I found the experience to be more like moving to a place where you know no one. Every interaction has to be formed from scratch and there is little emotional security. Of course we all have phones to touch base, but if I spent the whole time talking with friends back home, part of me would know I am avoiding the experience I set out to have. 

During the time with myself, I had a lot of conversations with what I choose to call God. After all, God was the only one there to hear my thoughts and I don’t feel the need to talk out loud as much as I used to. As I talked, I became much more aware of my fears. An emotion would rise up in me and the only thing I could do was sit with it. I had no way of ignoring the them. After feeling it for awhile I would ask myself, “what is at the core of this?” 

Being on the road for 16 hours kind of forces you to dive deeper. I gained a lot of perspective about my own triggers and emotional habits. I had time to think about why I like and dislike certain things. The specific parts of something which invoke emotion in me. I reflected on my past and the experiences that shaped the way I think and feel. 

After an extended period of self discovery, I reached a place of peace and serenity. I found the later moments of the trip were spent largely in marvel at the nature around me and the forces that created the landscapes. It was profoundly spiritual to ponder the nature of creation, as many of the landscapes took millions of years to form and had been there millennia’s before any human witnessed it.

Engaging Your Inner Child

When you spend such a long time with yourself, you get an opportunity to recreate what “fun” means for you. There aren’t other people to give their two cents about which activities you should do. At first it is kind of uncomfortable but it’s a good practice of giving into your heart’s desire. 

Towards the end of the trip I was feeling exhausted from doing so much and being from central Texas, the snow was becoming a challenge in and of itself. I realized that growing up, our vacations had never been very relaxing. We would spend all our time sight-seeing and doing things. This way of travel has its own merit, but is not a very relaxing way to spend a vacation. Because of this, I knew my emotions were a call from my inner child to spend vacations how I never got to. Lounging around, playing games and eating. 

I had a small internal battle because part of me still thought that was an “improper use of time”. I can do that at home after all. Although, once I recognized it as an opportunity to love my inner child, I knew it was the right thing to do. The other part of me had got its way the first half of the trip, walking through national parks and going on tours, now the child got to be in charge. 

I always had difficulty understanding how to heal my inner child before this experience. I had read about it and could make some connections, but this was my first really big opportunity to do so. Once I made the decision to go along with the warm feeling of excitement in my gut and ignore any internal parenting, I found myself having a great deal of fun. It was the most refreshed I felt in a while. I found my energy levels increased. I was no longer restraining myself to activities I felt were “adult” like. I simply did what my heart told me I should do.

Now that I am back from my trip I feel I have gained a lot more awareness about myself. My motivation to work on my goals has been renewed. It’s an experience I have seldom felt from vacations before given the draining nature of constant motion. It is something I plan on doing again down the road and I believe everyone should provide themselves with the opportunity for self exploration.

If you have ever taken a spiritually impactful trip, let me know in the comments below! I would love to hear your takeaways and what you learned about yourself. If you enjoyed the article make sure to check out some of my other posts.

To all my fellows, may your seeking be fruitful and your findings bountiful!