The Joy of Interdependence
My mantra has been “I don’t care what you think, this is me.” I have tried to have so much confidence in myself that I didn’t need anyone else. I have tried to not want or care about the approval of others.
And yet even after all this growth and transformation in my life, I still can’t get over my need to be loved and appreciated by others.
I want people to enjoy my blog, gain inspiration from my words and engage in a conversation with me. No matter how hard I try, I can’t let this go.
Yesterday I read a post that changed the way I thought about this need for connection. You can read it here.
In the same way that we are connected to the physical world in order to survive, we also need to be connected emotionally with other people to survive. We can’t live our lives in isolation. It is part of our human nature to want to belong to a family, to a lover and to a community.
There are three ways we can approach this need to be connected with other people.
- independence — I don’t need you
- co-dependence — I can’t live without you
- interdependence — I acknowledge you, respect you and treasure you
Interdependence is a dynamic of being mutually and physically responsible to, and sharing a common set of principles with many others. This concept differs distinctly from “dependence,” which implies that each member of a relationship cannot function or survive apart from one another. In an interdependent relationship, all participants are emotionally, economically, ecologically and/or morally self-reliant while at the same time responsible to each other ~ Wikipedia
Interdependence is what we crave in our lives. We begin from a place where we positively meet our own needs and through the doorway of self-love and respect we find others like us to love and cherish.
We search for people to approve of us and support us in our endeavours because it is how we flourish and grow in the world. But not everyone in our world is right for us. We can’t be everything to everyone.
Sometimes we have people in our lives who are damaged. With these people we offer our support, we don’t add to their damage but we don’t let them damage us. Relying on damaged people to support our dreams is a huge mistake.
This is where the notion of a tribe comes in. There are people we know who dream the same dreams we do and want to live their best lives. These are the people oozing unconditional love as they battle their way over their own obstacles. The ones who will offer to help you even when their hands are bleeding from the fight.
So don’t waste your energy trying to please your mother or your boss if they don’t understand the true essence of you. But remember that though you might not need some people, it doesn’t mean you don’t need anyone. You do. You need love and support from other people — your people.
You know who I mean, don’t you? Those people who you feel like you’ve known your whole life. Those authors whose words jump off the page and into your heart. Those bloggers who describe exactly what’s going on in your head. Those people who love what you do and the way that you do it even when you’re doing it wrong.
You know those women who seem to do whatever they want without worrying what people think of them? They are women who have connected with their own tribe. They know they are seen, heard, known and loved by the people who matter in their lives. This is the essence of confidence and authenticity.
Of course, connecting deeply with another person is risky business. It means feeling the pain of separation when they are gone both temporarily and permanently. We all do the leaving and we all get left behind. But loss and grief is part of the fabric of life — becoming love means experiencing pain.
Find your tribe. You need them, and they need you. Treasure every single moment of this magical relationship. Interdependence means we can mix together our divine energy and transform it into something so much more than we could ever create on our own..