I strongly feel that since the last lunar eclipse at 21/1 constantly things are happening that upset us, coming as if we need to look through new lenses at our own positions and behaviours in situations that are happening to us.
I mainly write by listening to personal and collective experiences that they are occurring during the same period and relate to the same or similar issues. Of course everyone's experience is unique and I trust that everyone connects to and gets what they need from whatever is happening around them.
Over the last few days I have been noticing the difficulty that people have in regards to dependence on and independence from something, this may be a habit, e.g. the use of substances or on someone, e.g. a relationship, etc.
I think that for whatever people do-even destructive things -there is a reason behind it.
We satisfy a desire, a need, a 'want', we respond to an emotional state or to an external stimulus etc. A well-known example is when we feel sadness or loneliness that, in order to feel better or to ' fill the void ', we may eat something specific that will 'fill us up' like a pizza or a chocolate. Likewise, if we had a difficult and stressful day we might afterwards want to drink alcohol or smoke to calm down and relax.
I do not attach any particular value or judgement to the examples and habits I am using here. We all do the best we can at any given time.
So to the extent that we systematically connect an emotional state or stimulus with a specific response or action, then a dependent relationship is being created. Clearly there are levels of dependency as well as different ways such as physical, emotional etc.
So this relationship serves a function, it offers something to the person to continue living his life as he thinks best. If this relationship is disturbed, then the person may feel confused and possibly seek to create another similar relationship with something or someone else.
In the case of an addictive relationship between people, we see people being attracted to and constantly creating relationships with people who bare similar characteristics (of course they are not the same people). In these relationships, the role they may take, the outcome of the relationship and how they may feel in the relationship may constitute a familiar field that offers them a sense of security, intimacy and certainty not only for themselves but also for their lives in general.
A somewhat addictive relationship may be the relationship of parents with their children since children in a young age depend on their parents for their survival. If such relationship continues on a practical and emotional level from both sides when children reach adulthood then it can become problematic mainly for the children because it will be difficult for them to become adults.
We often use the term 'independence' to describe adulthood, implying essentially that we were once addicted to something and now we want to become independent, i.e. to acquire more, if not absolute, freedom of movement, away from the necessity of the relationship and its cause and effect, i.e. we have a need and we wait for the other to fulfil it for us or wait for the other to make us feel good or in a particular way.
I think that this is one of the most difficult tasks in a man's life, not so much for the impossibility of completing it as for the degree of its complexity. It requires from people to realise what kind of relationships they are forming, the effects of their relationships in their lives, whether they the power and the resources necessary to change them, the possible impact of changes on others, the carving and defining of a new, unknown path to what independence is for them and, finally, walking this path with the hardships and successes, with the joys and fears they may experience.
But what is essentially independence?
We have already seen how it relates to dependence, constituting its opposite pole as to the possibility or not of making free choices.
But could it be a continuous, life-lived situation in a society?
Part of becoming an adult (at least according to psychotherapy) is the acceptance and pursuit of interdependence. If we think about it in its most practical form, we find that daily we depend on others for our food (cultivation, harvesting, distribution, cooking), our hygiene (garbage collection, doctors, etc.), our health and so on. Everyone serves a -as equal in my eyes- function as part of a whole, similar to the organs, muscles, bones, blood, veins etc in ones body that work together in collaboration for its well function and well-being.
The same is the case for everything we consider a whole with consisting parts such as a family, a tribe, a society, a city, a country, a continent, a planet and so on.
In psychological (and spiritual terms) the 'dependent' and 'independent' positions are the same as the 'child' or 'parent' positions in the sense that they describe unilaterally a complex situation, man himself and how she lives her life. The 'interdependence' and the position of the 'adult' -again in my own eyes- offer the empirical possibility and, therefore, the space of freedom for all of us to be one or the other, sometimes providers, sometimes receivers, sometimes children, sometimes parents, sometimes supportive, sometimes being supported.
We might be doing it already , but we might not realising it and let alone admit it.
An important prerequisite is the agreement that we all play the same game...