The question of obedience and dependence has always bothered me.

The big initiation is when one has to leave the psychology of childhood behind: the death of the infantile ego, which is dependent and obedient, and the birth of the self-reliant adult participating in the society. Joseph Campbell

For me the worst times in my life have been when I have found myself to be dependent and obedient. Those times have funnily enough been in my younger years. When I’ve followed those two attributes it led me only to misery and to a place where I was completely dominated emotionally and worse still, in spirit.

As I’ve gotten older I have made it my life’s purpose to be neither. I have worked hard to be very disobedient and tried to be as independent as possible. It has been very hard at times. It’s easier to swim with the stream, not rock the boat and basically shut up and not complain. Lots of people can do it and do it well. I envy them because most of the time they are easy going and just get on with it, accepting that life can be like that sometimes.

Me, well, I’ve pushed, I’ve shoved, I’ve tried to back myself and stay true. For that I have been called difficult. What a totally shit word is that, if you let it be. I have been told that I am difficult sometimes in work, in relationships, in general conversations. It can sting but I tend to focus on the upside of what comes from being called difficult.

Everything depends on how you look at things and I try to look at things in the positive. Being difficult means that you are doing things different and, in the Buddhist sense, if your intent is good and you look to cause no hard to anyone then you being difficult is actually something that everyone else has to deal with. Because it is them who have the problem with you, not you having the problem with them.

And from being difficult you attract other things which make your life intrinsically special. It brings you certain people who mark you in an indescribable and brilliant way. You find yourself in situations which are magical and unforgettable. The flow of your life has a guiding light of spiritual phosphorescence that shows you the way in your darkest days.

In the second part of my life moving away from obedience and dependency is a lot easier because I remember the scars of being compliant. As I move into the less social, more inward part of my life, where I can appreciate my youth and flex my knowledge, people also accept that it’s ok to finally be yourself. Those who like it stick and those who don’t will drift away, and you’ll be all the better for it. People have never like change particularly when it means that those changes mean adjustments for others. But that’s no excuse for spending your life in the shadows of what others expect of you.