Define dependence. What does it mean to you? Do you believe you are dependent upon something or someone? Do you believe discovering independence is the answer? These are questions I have been asking myself as of late.
Growing up in an environment where my parents were emotionally and sometimes physically unavailable, I thought I learned to depend on myself. However, instead I depended on anything outside of me. Whether that was food, sports, high levels of suicidal ideation, fantasy, television, movies, music, sex, etc. there is a level of healthy and maybe not so healthy external tools for comfort and security listed here.
As I grew older, drugs and alcohol became the dependency tool to make myself feel comfortable. But there was also something subtler that became apparent and created a pattern: my dependency on people to represent my true colors, to help define me, to make me seem deserving.
One week into my sobriety I started a serious relationship. I let go of something to attach myself to something else. Was I aware, of course not! I had a belief if I could learn to give to another I would intern be giving to myself. This relationship would assist in my healing, not deter it.
But early on in the relationship it became clear that I was settling due to fear of being alone and I became dependent upon someone who was taking care of me, loving me and showing me that I was worthy of love. Something I never felt from the familial foundation I was cosmically supposed to learn and experience that love from.
As the years went by, I felt like I was coming into my own. Gaining independence and becoming aware that this relationship was no longer serving my growth, I asked for divine assistance and guidance and thus a brilliant circumstance occurred. Love came into my life and as I left this long-term relationship, I attempted to start a new one. Crazy? No. More dependency? Yes. As this relationship started, it became clear to the other involved something was starting to be off. I believe that something was the lack of space between a break up and a start to something new and the lack of awareness on how dependent I was to this person from my long-term relationship.
These two ideas created a quick stagnation and conflicted energy in the relationship where needs were not being met and unclear expectations became the foundation of me attempting to just recreate the same relationship I had in the past with this new person. Patterns, beliefs, and ideas are a bitch! Thank God this person was healthy enough, aware, and strong for the both of us to see clearly and break us from this potential bondage. Since the break, I have been hurting but moreover I have been in a state of abundant gratitude towards her and the decision. It’s allowed for me to go back to me. Square one. I have started to see and become aware of those self sabotaging patterns and tendencies I was somewhat oblivious of or just plain denying. As I walk through this process with grace and constant critical observation of those patterns to break free from, I started to read J. Krishnamurti again. He rocks my mind and world, connecting my heart to the depths of my soul.
From his book, The Book of Life, in the March chapter: Dependence| Attachment| Relationship| Fear, (coincidence? I think not) he writes on March 4 “Dependence sets going the movement of aloofness and attachment, a constant conflict without comprehension, without a release.” This statement blew me away. It was only days ago where I was trying to understand my own attachment to this new person I fell in love with. To try and understand my own inability to be present with her, hear her, and also be myself without just having the desire to be with her and please her. I was aloof and attached and couldn’t understand why I couldn’t escape this feeling when I also knew I was in love. I couldn’t find myself.
From one relationship to another I attached myself to this person subconsciously, depending on them for support and strength during a time when I needed to do that for myself. I needed to do that four and a half years ago when I first got sober. The dependence factor created this detachment and incomprehensible conflict that no amount of healing with someone could solve unless unnecessary pain and suffering was going to be welcomed by the other person.
Love is powerful. It’s what opened me up to further my growth, but pain is the catalyst for all transformation.
Krishnamurti goes on to say if we go deep, make ourselves completely aware of our conscious mind and this idea of dependence, the idea, belief, will uproot itself from the subconscious allowing for the two minds to merge, thereby giving ourselves a potential break, release, or freedom from this feeling of dependence.
I thank the person I fell in love with for helping me get back to myself. I thank the person I was dependent on for so long to remind me of what can happen if I allow the dependence to control me. I thank God and myself for giving me the vulnerability and strength to accept this idea and move through it.
I am going to continue to look at this idea, shed light, call it out, question it, wonder about it until I start to gain more awareness on the simple actions I take that connect me back to attaching myself to something or someone. I would say I am a pretty healthy person and through all this abundant change in my life, I am aware that I asked for this. I don’t have any regrets of my past. I am proud to say I am grateful for all the experiences that have brought me closer to myself and my God. Yet, I would like to continue to grow and change and this dependence factor is one thing I would like to let go of and release.
This doesn’t mean me finding my “independence” either. Krishnamurti makes it clear that choosing independence is just a reaction to dependence. It’s not how one would solve that problem. Independence is the concave lens to the convex of dependence. We would like to be in the center of both states. Experiencing the divine in give and take. The two must be merged for clarity and freedom. We don’t choose good instead of bad; clarity over fogginess. We see and study the bad to loosen the grip of a false belief that was never ours in the first place. It will rise out of the thick depth of the subconscious to be illuminated and understood that there is no good or bad, there just is. Like dependence and independence. It just is. We can be unattached beings living our lives without the quest of comfort and security, being aware and clear of our thoughts and actions, which create freedom, nakedness, authentic joy, love, and connection to another and ourselves.