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The Value of Self Reliance #MondayMusings

Continuing my ‘reminder to self‘ series this week, I remind myself of something that I’ve only recently begun to appreciate.

The Value Of Self Reliance

I’m a literature student – even if I came late to the party, doing my MA in Literature, several years after I got my Bachelors in Commerce and worked in a bank. But my love for language, drew me back to studying and reinventing myself career-wise.

But I digress.

I’m attempting to tell you how I discovered Ralph Waldo Emerson and his wonderfully wise works. One of these is Self-Reliance. In it he pushes the idea of every one thinking for themselves.

But he also talks of something which seems so relevant and urgent to our times and is a great reminder to me. Let me share this with you.

I must be myself. I cannot break myself any longer for you, or you. If you can love me for what I am, we shall be happier. If you cannot, I will still seek to deserve that you should. I must be myself. I will not hide my tastes or aversions. I will so trust that what is deep is holy, that I will do strongly before the sun and moon whatever inly rejoices me and the heart appoints. If you are noble, I will love you; if you are not, I will not hurt you and myself by hypocritical attentions” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

I love all those words. But the last sentence just pops out to remind me once again that I don’t need to work on being popular – I just need to be myself.

There was a time that I had a hard time being alone. Solitude made me uncomfortable. These days, I consciously seek it. I’ve discovered and learned to love my introverted self. I’ve learned to motivate myself and not wait for others to make me feel good about me.

Associate with the noblest people you can find; read the best books; live with the mighty. But learn to be happy alone. Rely upon your own energies, and so not wait for, or depend on other people. -Thomas Davidson

Do you value self-reliance?


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Image credit: Peace Calm Freedom Harmony Solitude Graphic Concept by Shutterstock


  1. Mackenzie Glanville Mackenzie Glanville October 23, 2016

    Congratulations you are #mg’s Featured Blogger this week! Loved this post!

  2. Mackenzie Glanville Mackenzie Glanville October 22, 2016

    oh my gosh I LOVE this post, one of the best I have read! I love those quotes and hadn’t heard them before, I think what they teach us is beautiful, thank you so much for sharing this with #mg Lots of love to you xx

  3. upasna upasna October 21, 2016

    There was a time when I used to hate being alone. Walks or shopping – I would wish for the company. And then I learned to be happy with myself. Its not that I do not enjoy others company but even if no one is along- I do not feel sad. Literature student sounds something deep to me.

  4. nan @ lbddiaries nan @ lbddiaries October 20, 2016

    A most excellent post and great reminder than loving ourselves is far more important than we often realize. I’m going through a Transformation course a friend of mine offers as a life and health coach. So much inside me needed to come out in order to find ME again, only a better me. It is just fine to be me and that’s a good thing (smile). Alpha Hubby loves me unconditionally but he’s glad I’m growing even more at peace with myself and becoming the best me I am!

  5. Shantala Shantala October 20, 2016

    This I agree with. As much as we all enjoy company (well, I personally like my solitude just as much) but our happiness and peace of mind should only depend on ourselves. Else, it’s a losing battle that we fight.

  6. Deboshree Deboshree October 19, 2016

    So beautifully written! I enjoy solitude, and these days, am luckily getting quite a bit of it. It’s a winning combo: good book, a steaming cup of coffee, and dozens of thoughts to think about. While I don’t deny the importance of social contact, self-reliance is indeed valuable.

  7. Traci York Traci York October 19, 2016

    Funny – I’ve always enjoyed solitude, and it was only as an adult that I was able to be more comfortable with being social. I agree with others in saying that my favorite part of your post is the line about not being popular and just being yourself.

  8. Sunaina Sharma Sunaina Sharma October 19, 2016

    I need to be myself – I have been stressing this to a friend of mine lately. She is extremely unhappy with herself….partly because of expectations others have of her, and partly because of her own…..It is extremely difficult for most of us to achieve this state of self-reliance….So, you were a literature student….! I don’t know why but I am so happy to know that….Do share your favorites……

  9. Nilima Mohite Nilima Mohite October 18, 2016

    Good day Corinnie ! That is a thought provoking post. From childhood I came to realise I am alone most times even though being eldest on both sides of families and always surrounded by people. But apart from teenage times, I never regretted it. I infact loved being with myself. Along the way I can to love & relate to this quote: If you love yourself fully, then only you will be able to love someone else truly. So First Love yourself.
    I am always amazed & irritated when I see school going kids getting into relationships. Is it peer pressure or the false assumption that the person they are in relationship with will always love them? Guess thats the reason why people are in bad relationships or falling out of relationships. Encouraging the idea of Self-Reliance is the need of the hour as is Consent.

  10. Dipannita (womanzie) Dipannita (womanzie) October 18, 2016

    What a wonderful subject! All we need is the proper understanding of one-self that what we are and what we want. And then as Paulo Cohelo says “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

  11. Esha Dutta Esha Dutta October 18, 2016

    Love the quote and the idea of self-reliance is something that I’ve always believed in, even through some of the most trying moments of life. The satisfaction of doing things by oneself is one of the few pleasures of life that I wish to carry with me as long as I live. And I absolutely love solitude, every single minute of it. It’s never enough because that’s what lets me be me, and at the end of the day, that’s what makes one happy!

  12. Vasantha Vivek Vasantha Vivek October 18, 2016

    ” I don’t need to work on being popular – I just need to be myself.” – Adore this powerful sentence. I also learnt to be self reliant after so many hurts and pain. But now I love being in solitude and being myself. Thanks Corinne for spreading ray hope for all.

  13. Tina Basu Tina Basu October 18, 2016

    I wasn’t very interested in literature, long back, and did a major in sociology ( i still don’t know why I did that though). But I am all the more interested in Literature now! I too have realized you don’t need to be perfect, you need to be real, that who you are!

  14. Ramya Rao Ramya Rao October 18, 2016

    These words are so true in today’s situations, Corinne. I am so glad that I learned these lessons early in life. I crave for solitude today. Unlike my previous self.

  15. Nabanita Dhar Nabanita Dhar October 18, 2016

    It is so relevant , isn’t it? This need to please is so deceptive and the reason for so many issues in interpersonal relationships. The first thing to a happy life is to have a happy self and that can only happen if we can be ourselves no matter what. I love that quote you shared from Emerson. Love these pearls of wisdom from you <3

  16. Mali Mali October 18, 2016

    I like the company of friends and family, and I like being alone. Even more than physically and financially being able to be self-reliant, I think emotional self-reliance and growth is so important. Acceptance of who we are, our talents and our flaws, is I think a true self-reliance.

    Now I’m off to read the essay in full!

  17. Eugene Uttley Eugene Uttley October 18, 2016

    What a profound Emerson passage… “whatever inly rejoices me and the heart appoints”… Yes!
    I studied lit as well, to the tune of a BA and half-an-MA. I wish you all the best in pursuing your passion.

  18. Mel Mel October 18, 2016

    Yes, though I’ll also admit that there are plenty of things that I can do for myself that I wait for someone else to do for me. (Like sweetly asking the kids to take down the recycling a few minutes ago.) I do like being alone.

    My favourite line in all of that: “If you can love me for what I am, we shall be happier.” So true.

  19. Carol Cassara Carol Cassara October 17, 2016

    Solitude can be an acquired taste. I don’t get enough of it and crave it so much of the time! I’ve lived a mostly independent life so I know firsthand the value of self-reliance, too.

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