One of the tasks in adult development is that of separation and individuation. Really, it is in our toddler years that we first begin individuation process as we move away from complete dependence on our mother or caretaker, to a place of exploring the world. This process continues throughout childhood as children gain more autonomy and make more and more of their own decisions. Eventually, leaving the familiar routine of the childhood home to establish a routine of one’s own. Figuring out what is important, what beliefs and values one will uphold.

For those who cannot seem to create their own sense of life and instead, rubber stamp what they knew when they were young, there are great costs. Masking who they really are. Submitting to the will of others. Developing dependencies on substances, or processes. Not really knowing who they really are.

To become one’s own person is an act of courage. It is a gift to yourself, to others, and to the larger world community. When you become fully you, you build relationships based on truth and honesty, instead of smoke and mirrors. And you don’t need to worry too much what others really think about you. Because you know and like who you are.

And so, at the start of this new year, taking time to ponder one’s own path, journey and one’s life adventure, is important. The road of the New Year lays out before us. How will we travel? How will we handle that which we encounter? Which direction will we choose?

Wide Open Spaces, by the Dixie Chicks, nicely illustrates the concept of individuation. And so, I leave you with a song. Enjoy.