If one was to go for a walk in nature, they would soon see that everything relies on something else in order to survive. One is not going to come across anything that is independent of its environment; what they will see is interdependence.
When it comes to a tree for example, it could be said that it is independent. This is because it stands by itself and it is not connected to other trees. Yet, if the tree was not rooted into the ground, it wouldn’t last for very long and it would soon fall down.
So one could look at the tree from a distance and come to the conclusion that it doesn’t need anything else in order to survive, but upon closer inspection, they would soon realise that this is nothing more than an illusion. The tree has no choice other than to accept the fact that it depends on this environment - there is no alternative.
However, while a tree can accept this, the same can’t always be said for human beings. This means that they can go against their true nature and try to live as if they are completely independent; one is then their own island and they don’t need anyone else.
If one has this outlook, it is likely to mean that they would rather struggle and even suffer, than to ask for help. Reaching out to others is then not a normal part of life; it is something they must avoid.
A Different Reality
This is going to be what is normal for some people and perhaps it is how their life has always been. It is then not so much that one has made a conscious decision to go against their own nature, as it is that one has been conditioned to live this way.
There are then going to be others who are able to reach out to others and to rely on them. In their reality, this could be what is normal and how their life has always been. And as they feel comfortable embracing the fact that they need others, their life is likely to be a lot easier.
This doesn’t mean that one doesn’t do anything for themselves, it means that one reaches out when they can’t do something for themselves. One is coming from a place of empowerment and not disempowerment.
If one didn’t do anything by themselves and then relied on others, this would be a sign that one is no longer interdependent, they are dependent. On one side can be someone who tries to do everything by themselves and on the other can be someone who doesn’t do anything by themselves.
During the beginning of one’s life, there would have been a time where they were dependent and a time where they were the opposite (also known as counter dependent). These are normal stages, and providing one receives the right care, they will grow out of them.
When one is in the dependent stage, they will need to receive the right attunement, and when they are in the opposite stage, they will need to be able to break away and then to come back (and this will be a scenario that plays out for a while). After this, it is said that one will move into independence and then into interdependence.
A Different Perspective
It would be easy to say that someone who is dependent needs to ‘grow up and to stand on their own two feet. Just as it would be easy to say that people who try to do everything by themselves should stop being so stubborn and ask for help.
Yet, if one is dependent on others, it is likely to be a sign that they still feel like a child at an emotional level. It is then not possible for them to act like an adult, because they don’t feel like one. And if one tries to do everything by themselves, reaching out to others is unlikely to be something that feels safe.
What this all comes down to is that human beings have needs and while one can fulfil some of those needs by themselves, they can’t fulfil all of them. And how one’s caregivers responded to one’s needs is going to have a big on impact on how one responds to their own needs.
If their caregivers ignored their needs, there is the chance that one will ignore their own needs. It can also make one believe that they have to take care of their own needs and that it is not possible for others to meet them.
During these years, reaching out might have caused one to be harmed, rejected, abandoned and/or shamed. These early years then conditioned one to go against their true nature and set them up to see their needs as being bad.
So when someone comes across as though they don’t need anyone, it is likely to mean that they are protecting themselves from having to face how they felt during their early years. And due to what happened one could be carrying a lot of pain in their body.
Unless this pain is dealt with, one will attract others who reflect their past or they will project their past onto others, or both. It is going to be important for one to change their outlook when it comes to their needs and to gradually develop their ability to trust others.
There will be the emotional pain that needs to be released and one will need to receive the positive regard that they didn’t receive as a child. This can take place with the assistance of a therapist, healer and/or a support group.
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Oliver J R Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.