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All posts in June 25th, 2016

Part 36, June 25, 2016

Dependence, Independence, and Interdependence

We have been trained well into believing that dependence is fine for children, but not for adults. We’ve been told in many ways, over and over, that adults should be independent–and in the USA, “rugged independence” is revered. Honestly, though, how many of us are or ever have been truly independent? It seems to me that is but an illusion which we strive for, and always wind up feeling like we’ve failed if we don’t manage it. In addition, we too often learn through hard experience that there’s nobody trustworthy to truly depend upon! This pretty much guarantees a society of folks who believe themselves to be failures or loners, or both. How sad is that?!?!?

I’m not saying that it’s ideal for healthy adults to be completely dependent on other human beings. Independence has its place. Providing for one’s self and family gives us a sense of purpose and fulfillment that can’t be replaced! But thinking that we’re doing it all on our own is simply a mirage.

If dependence isn’t so great, and independence isn’t real, what’s left? Interdependence! All of us rely on others in so many ways that we don’t even consider–and others rely on us in ways that we’re unable to see. Whether we like it or not, we are social beings. Our interactions with others shape who we are, what we think, and how we live. Knowing who we are is a learning process that takes a lifetime, even though we tend to think of the “finding myself” stage as fleeting. It’s not. I’m pushing 60 and I’m still working on it!

I’m glad that God is working on it with me, and that I have friends all over the world who contribute to the process. Coming to realize that I am love wrapped up in a body–and that you are, as well–gives me something more solid to work with in my endeavor to become ever more who I truly am and to discover what my life’s work is and is to be. Knowing that I am love wrapped up in a body, and that God is Love, gives me someone to depend upon without fear and the confidence to reach out in interdependence to others.