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Fredrickson Life Coaching & Counseling
July Newsletter 2009

"INDEPENDENCE"

 

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"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."- Declaration of independence July 4, 1776.

Every year during the month of July, we are reminded of the fundamental principle of Independence. independence is what makes our Country great. It allows us many freedoms we often take for granted, such as the right to free speech, the right to vote, the right to an education, the right to religious freedom, and the privilege to aspire toward any career goal we choose. Without a doubt, independence is something for which we should be grateful.

Beyond the context of independence as it relates to our civil rights, Independence is also an inherent trait within all of us. independence is a characteristic everyone possesses. From the moment we are born,we learn Independence naturally. As we become aware of our environment as toddlers and children, we constantly exert our independence by wanting to look, touch, explore, and learn new things about our environment and about ourselves. For example, one of the first words out of our mouths as toddlers is "no". We want to do what we want; we don't always feel like doing things our parents want us to do. Instead, we develop the desire and the will to cultivate a personality that expresses our unique Independence.

However, in order to fully enjoy our personal independence and the freedoms it can bring, we need to create limits and boundaries. We need to balance the things we want to do with the things we need to do. This is especially true when it comes to our relationships. Expressing our Independence is important to our well-being. We feel good when we can do the things we want to do. But we need to balance our personal Independence with the rest of our lives as well. Anything done in excess can be unhealthy, especially when we are in a relationship, even if it is a good thing. For example, exercise is considered part of a healthy lifestyle, however, when taken to an excessive level can affect our personal relationships. Too much exercise can disrupt the balance of time and attention we need to give our relationships at home.

A beneficial level of independence requires balancing life's priorities. That being said, a healthy and balanced lifestyle requires work, and keeping things in balance in life is not always easy. Imbalance can show up at any time in our lives, and can result from either external or internal sources. An example of external imbalance could be that your boss is requiring you to work excessive hours at work to "get the job done". In today's economy, people are being pushed to work more hours for the same or less pay. This can lead to burnout and imbalance. Thus, our level of independence is decreased, and we no longer have control of our time, our emotions, and perhaps even our health. Other times, we may be creating imbalance in our lives internally without even realizing it. For example, When a married person exercises excessively it throws priorities out of balance. This in turn can leave the spouse feeling unimportant, neglected and unwanted. We may fail to see the negative impact on our spouse. Therefore Independence taken to an extreme can be a selfish act when when not kept in check.

In summary, when we have too little independence in our lives we become resentful. When we have too much independence in our lives it can negatively effect relationships and other priorities. So how do we keep our Independence in check? First, we need an internal regulatory system like our heart or our spirit to tell us when we are reaching our limit or going too far with something. Second, we need to be open to feedback from those closest to us to remind us when something we are doing is unhealthy for us or our relationships. Listening to that small voice inside us or to a trusted friend is not always easy. This is when counseling can help.

Sometimes it takes a third party that is trained in understanding emotional and relational wellness to give us successful and valued feedback. Unfortunately, our spouses, significant others, or good friends are not always valued as our best counselors. I have worked with many individuals and couples that have made significant strides in improving their lives by requesting counseling or life coaching. If you would like to find out how to better manage your independence and enjoy your life to the fullest, please contact me. Together, we can talk about how counseling or life coaching can benefit you.

I hope and pray you all have a great July and an enjoyable summer. Be thankful for your Independence, but remember, happiness comes by keeping your independence in balance with the rest of your life.


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