Dependence! Now there is a word that can easily stir up a whole lot of trouble. Just like many other words in the English language, the word dependence certainly has not gone unscathed.
If you have become a regular blog reader of mine, you will be beginning to realise just how significant the depth and breadth of which social and cultural conditioning has indeed become entangled within our lives.
So what is the big deal about dependence in a relationship anyway?
For nearly forty years, I didn't think it was a big deal either until I discovered that it had attempted to infiltrate every relationship I had experienced to date. This is big! In fact, I am happy to go as far as to say, it would appear that the vast majority of us have almost completely missed the significance, and correlations between dependence and self-sacrifice, of which we frequently and loosely term love.
Well, I think at this point, it might be a good idea, to take a big step back to get some clarity, without those emotions that are likely brewing, as a result of social and cultural conditioning. If you are feeling uncomfortable where I am going with this, that is a good thing. Change comes through stepping into discomfort and expanding through it. So let us change together.
In every relationship, love appears, whether it be as a parent, partner, sibling or friendship. To want to support, nurture, spend time with and adore someone, love has to enter the equation. I think we could all agree on that in some form or another. In fact, the heart feels love in an instant. However, it takes time for the brain to catch up, but that is a whole other blog altogether for another day. Then steps in the conditions that come with love through social and cultural conditioning. Then the dance partner of this deadly relationship trap, between love and conditions finally joins the party. Welcome to the party dependence, supported by its close companion, control, and everything goes pear-shaped. Quite a lethal combination don't you think?
This deadly relationship trap of dependence is the underlying problem that breaks down every relationship that fails. Whether it be dependence, or in the worst-case scenario, co-dependence it never ends well. And to top it off, it won't just break down your current relationships. You will take it to the next one, and the next one after that, in a continual loop until you go back to the root cause of the problem.
How do I know this? I did it for nearly 40 years myself. Then through a whole lot of introspection and self-analysis. I discovered my authentic self, which I lost to the deadly valley of dependence. You see, like everyone else, I was taught at every turn to lose myself in relationships. These teaching were literally everywhere I looked my entire life. My parents taught me that love came with conditions, and so too did my partners and friends, because they were taught the same.
As a child, what I wasn't taught through the gentle guise of social and cultural conditioning, I was forcibly told to respect, endure and accept. This is the world we live, the world of lost independence, supported but the close companion of control.
Are you happy in your relationships? Do you feel like you have lost part of yourself as a parent, partner, sibling or friend? If you do, that means that you have succumbed to the deadly relationship trap of dependence.
The good news is that it doesn't have to be this way at all. A successful and rewarding relationship awaits you, as long as the three essential people remain a constant throughout. These three people are you, me and us. There is room for you, me and us in every relationship. This is because it is essential for a truly successful long-term relationship, that all three people remain for the long haul.
When you find yourself losing who you are in a relationship, you become dependent. When the other person loses themselves in the relationship, they become dependent. When you both lose yourselves, you both become co-dependent. Each of these actions has the potential for the 'game over' scenario, and the trap of dependence then swallows up the entire relationship.
Look into your past relationships. Have you lost yourself, and then your partner left you? When they left you, did you find it hard to remember who you were without them in your life? Are you still struggling to find your feet?
Did your friend lose themselves in your relationship, and you no longer want to be friends, because they then became clingy and overly needy?
Have you felt smothered in relationships and not been able to do the things you liked for yourself? This happens far more commonly than we think, and not always deliberately through control. It is most likely just that the other person has lost themselves.
Did you inadvertently, through conditioning, smother the one you loved through the trap of dependence? Then they drifted away from you, leaving you feeling alienated in your relationship.
You are not alone! The trap of dependence is a result of social and cultural conditioning, which can easily be addressed with a little help. Then you can become empowered to ultimately become aware of where it shows up in your life on-going.
Want to know more about how you can redesign your relationships? Reach out today for a free 30-minute discovery session to learn about my new pilot program that could change the face of every relationship you ever have.
It all begins with the relationship you have with yourself!