Independence shouldn’t mean bitterness.

By: Amanda Anderson

The Feminist Movement has created a new creed of women: the fearless and unconquerable independent woman. Let’s be clear, it’s commendable for any woman to take on the challenges of succeeding on her own, paving her own way, and taking care of herself. Who wouldn’t celebrate a woman who refuses to depend on a man to come and save her from life’s many obstacles, but instead saves herself? But there also comes a point where women may mistake independence with forsaking men all together. And that’s the biggest mistake any independent woman could ever make.

The independent woman may be immune to defeat, but is she really immune to love? And if she is, why would she want to be?

Now there are some independent ladies that have had horrible experiences with the other gender. They let their guard downs for men who were unworthy, and gave their hearts away to men who had no plans of returning the romantic gesture.

Many sleepless nights and disappointments turned this woman’s heart cold, and a surge of bitterness leaves her unable to love and unable to trust. It’s understandable as it’s painful for a woman to get her heart broken against her better judgment, but it doesn’t mean that men are somehow irrelevant to the equation of better days.

In love, we will pick the wrong men before we pick the right man. All of our disappointments, no matter how painful, are teachable moments in love and relationships. The independent sister must not forget that she too needs love, and it’s hard to ever get love if you view men as the enemy, and allow bitterness to consume you and have you thinking that you could live without romance.

The independent woman just wants to be strong and survive in a cold world full of people that she can’t technically depend on. It makes sense, but it’s easy to mistake strength for something totally different: cowardliness. There’s a lot of independent cowards out here labeling themselves as independent women. What does strength mean to you?

There’s two ways to look at strength: survival through the unexpected twists and turns of life or to shut out people or circumstances in life that you can’t control. To fully live, is to understand that we cannot try to control every aspect of our lives. We can decide to endure all that comes, but in no way can we control all that comes. And real strength comes from dedication to enduring all, not picking and choosing what to avoid.

It’s easy to mistake the two since strong women feel that they must have total authority over their own lives. But it’s your own view of independence that will determine the possibilities that you open or close yourself up to. Simply put, it all comes down to an attitude.

For me, independent means going to school, getting a degree, and succeeding in my career on my own since there’s a 60% chance that I won’t get married. It doesn’t mean I don’t need love. I am just prepared just in case Happily Ever After doesn’t happen. Men shouldn’t feel so inferior that they think we don’t need them, and women shouldn’t be so confused to think we don’t. We both need each other. It’s human nature.

Besides, God made Adam and Eve…and both were essential to mankind.

Live your life and don’t be afraid to rely on yourself, but don’t let independence hinder you from experiencing a love like no other. To love, is to fully live. So live abundantly, my independent sisters.

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