You know how you spent days, weeks, nights, weekends – months and years – consistently doing things to make someone stay with you?
You missed a chance to go to college – because you were afraid they would not miss you. Afraid that if you left, they would just choose that other girl/boy.
You missed going to work or went to work late – because they begged you to stay in bed with them to prove that they were the most important thing in your life. Because you wanted them to want to live with you, so you chose them over your job.
You listened to them when they told you that your job paid pea-nuts. Was a joke. Had no future. They told you that if you left your job – they could support you. You knew they wanted a someone who was constantly available – at their beck and call – so you stayed available.
Someone who criticized your friends on being loose. Too talkative. Independent. Workaholics. Gold-diggers (money lovers) etc. You believed them and broke up with your friends so they would know that you listened to them.
Eventually, they chose you and set up house with you. Well, darling; well played! Well done! But, how has that been working out for you?
Have you caught yourself thinking what would have happened by now? If you had spent all that time being better at that job that you left? Growing your customer base for that salon that you closed down? Becoming better friends with that money-loving-friend that is now an inter-dependent married person with kids?
Although we are totally capable of providing for ourselves, sometimes, we choose to be dependent on someone else as a way of avoiding taking responsibility for ourselves.
Dependent people usually are avoiding responsibility, so they are complaining endlessly, blaming others for their own failings and are always trying to avoid the consequences of their actions. Dependent people avoid developing essential qualities and skills – even when they are given the opportunity.
Like babies – as new born babies some people become extremely co-dependent. They have no ability to feel safe, provide for their basic needs or emotionally sustain themselves.
Co-dependent people are totally vulnerable and all of their trust and wellbeing is placed on the actions and resources of others. Feeling powerless on their own and rely on others to provide what they are not able to provide for ourselves. They are adults, but they are not thinking or acting as adults.
These are self-reliant individuals who are self-empowered and capable of providing for their own needs, emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually.
All of us make progress towards independence as we grow. If we allow ourselves and are not afraid, we can set ourselves free of parents, siblings, childhood friends etc to become self-aware and self-dependent.
In the independent stages of our lives we find our purpose, we choose our direction and we build trust in ourselves – self-belief. We feel powerful within our own energy and know that we can have our own best interests at heart, we make good decisions on our own and we can rely on and provide for ourselves.
To become inter-dependent, we have to have been independent first. In our independent state, if we really have taken the time, we have learnt who we are, what we like or dislike plus what we need for a fulfilling life.
Being aware and mindful of who we are as individuals is key to being inter-dependent.
Self-knowledge begins when you can clearly and freely answer some questions about yourself:
- What do you like and what matters to you?
- What do you want?
- Are you afraid to ask for what you want?
- Are you free to choose your friends and your activities?
- Are you free to spend time on your hobbies and interests?
- Can you freely spend time with friends and family?
- Are you free to pursue your personal goals?
- Do you have your own personal values?
- Can you say “NO” without fear of repercussions?
- Are you required to keep yourself small or hidden to please others?
Many times people are looking for, or entering into relationships simply to avoid feeling alone. Without any personal reflection of who they are, what they value, and what goals they have for the relationship.
It is important to maintain a sense of self in our intimate relationships. The optimal relationship is one where you are inter-dependent.
Do you know which one you are in your relationship? What do think?