Today I am considering a more individualistic view. What does independence mean to an individual anyway? Again the question arises - are we or can we ever have total independence? This time however it is with regard to our own thought processes.
As mentioned yesterday we live within a social context which has shaped and educated us and imprinted it's social morality, qualities and expectations upon us. Within this sphere of operation we can expect to be praised or admonished in some way if we step out of line or become too eccentric. These limits are highly ingrained in our personal thinking regardless of whether they are conscious or unconscious and such internal 'guidelines' constantly effect our behaviours and beliefs.
Going back to my question it is almost impossible to imagine that any one of us is completely independent of this social conditioning or enculturation. Rebellion itself is a reaction to something that we don't like but as such is a result of feeling imposed upon by outside forces that we don't agree with. Conforming is the opposite, agreeing to bide by the 'rules' because you like the constraints, and possibly moral values, that are attached to them. One therefore readily submits to these social mores accepting the regulation they place upon life and life styles.
In a similar manner our minds produce endless rules about our behaviour and what is or is not acceptable. This becomes obvious in the form of the voice of the inner critic - I'm not good enough etc. or I should/ought/could etc. All of these self-limiting beliefs have taken root through the chattering outer voices of care-givers, teachers, mentors, partners and role models throughout our lives. We become prisoners to other people's beliefs and judgements of our performance.
Independence can only come when we challenge the inner critic through self-acceptance in a positive non-judgemental way. It is important to reevaluate your views and opinions in order to move with the times. It is vital to reevaluate your own self-limiting beliefs in order to progress in life, to develop and to evolve.