Celebrate Interdependence

In the progress of personality, first comes a declaration of independence, then a recognition of interdependence.” Henry Van Dyke

We take our first steps toward independence as toddlers; literally taking our first steps and establishing our likes and dislikes. But, as we grow into adults, we sometimes mistake independence for loneliness and slip into a dependency of others in order to make us happy. We erroneously come to believe that in order to be ok, we must have another person by our side and might compromise who we are in order to hold onto that relationship. Alternatively, others of us decide that relying on someone else is dangerous and hold tightly to our independence like a shield – never letting anyone get close to us. Either extreme, however, does not allow us to grow fully and progress as human beings. The goal, then, is to develop a recognition of interdependence or the ability to take into account my needs while at the same time caring about another’s needs. Different from co-dependency where we experience an imbalance of power and anxiousness, interdependence allows us to feel connected to another, take responsibility for our own emotions, share equally in power and remain honest without feeling threatened. It is empowering because it allows for choice, freedom and connection all at the same time without imposing limits on those we love. And when we reach that state of interdependence, we can choose to cooperate and consider without it ever feeling like concession.

Weekly Path to Peace: Celebrate Interdependence!

  • As always, progress begins with awareness. Today, look to see how you approach your relationships. Do you honor your independence while at the same time taking into account the needs of others? If you swing too far toward independence or co-dependency, consider what an interdependent relationship might look like.
  • Celebrate interdependence by making a declaration of interdependence. Create a statement of how you wish to be in all of your relationships and use it as a guide to live interdependently with others.