Jan 15, 2008

Dependent Relationships - Barrier to Self Growth

Most of our relationships are co-dependent. But even within this truism, are we so dependent on some relationships around us that are own self image suffers? It is a paradox of our times that this age of 'I-Me-Myself' also has most of us in some form of relationship addiction. Is loving a bit too much necessarily harmful? I believe it can be, if our own self expression gets subdued. Dependency of any form takes away the focus from our own self’s and shifts it to some other external object. At first it’s just an enjoyable indulgence, and then it gets to be a habit and gradually turns into a full fledged addiction. This form of an attachment exists in all of us to varying degrees. It is not a disease but it can be potentially harmful. It is characterized by caring so much for the other person that self love and self respect is the first casualty. At times we are so attached to someone that we feel that we can't live without that person. Our walking hours are spent trying to live up to an image. The image may be an illusion after all in our heads. Living an illusion takes a lot of energy and thus is mentally draining. It also warps our own concept of who we truly are...and what we can become. In an addictive relationship we live for that person rather than for ourselves. It is a feeling of need and to be needed that drives the relationship. Any disturbance in the sea of calmness causes ripples in our lives. It changes our moods and attitudes. Also addictive relationships harm the other attachments in our lives.

For all such relationships their is only one absolute cure. It is to 'Let Go'.

To let go of a relationship, need not mean - walking away. But in a more apt way it signifies an attempt to throw away the excess baggage which holds back the growth of the self. It means making decisions through which two individuals can love, live and grow in peace and joy. It is also to realise that no one can truly grow in the shade of the other. It means to, move on. It also means at some level to give up on your ego and accept change (...and a little bit of pain). Their are no formulaic ten steps to a self dependent relationship. We need to find the answers for ourselves. For that we need to look inward first.

If we feel that we can't live without that person we should try learning to give to ourselves and others what it is we want from the relationship.

Our simple job is to become the person to ourselves what we want the other person to be. Only than can we move away from 'our need' and be more 'in love'. We will be able to love others for what they are rather than what they can do for us. Instead of demanding love as an obligation, we can give from our hearts and feel fulfilled.

But let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
~Kahlil Gibran


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