Nectar Of Wisdom

I – Believe In Interdependence

“Independency is a Myth. Truth is Interdependency.”

Opening Story:

Heaven and Hell



What is heaven? What is hell? The parable of the Long Spoons explains very well what heaven and hell truly are.


One day a man said to God, “God, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like.”


God showed the man two doors. Inside the first one, in the middle of the room, was a large round table with a large pot of vegetable stew. It smelled delicious and made the man’s mouth water, but the people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful, but because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths.


The man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering. God said, “You have seen Hell.”


Behind the second door, the room appeared exactly the same. There was the large round table with the large pot of wonderful vegetable stew that made the man’s mouth water. The people had the same long-handled spoons, but they were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking.


The man said, “I don’t understand.”


God smiled. It is simple, he said, Love only requires one skill. These people learned early on to share and feed one another. While the greedy only think of themselves. Sometimes, thinking solely of our personal gratification, we tend to forget our interdependence with everyone and everything around us, so much so that we stop caring about them.


But, as this parable makes it clear, by doing so not only don’t we help others overcome their suffering, but we’re also unconsciously harming ourselves, since we are all connected on a very deep level.

Dependence, Independence and Interdependence in Relationship


The state of relying on or being controlled by someone or something else. 

In relationships a very dependent person avoids making decisions, always defers to the other, even when it might be personally harmful, and feels that their emotions depend entirely on what happens with the other person.

Emotional dependency means getting one’s good feelings from outside oneself. It means needing to get filled from outside rather than from within.  There are numerous forms of emotional dependency:

  • Dependence on substances, such as food, drugs, or alcohol, to fill emptiness and take away pain.
  • Dependency on processes such as spending, gambling, or TV, also to fill emptiness and take away pain.
  • Dependence on money to define one’s worth and adequacy.
  • Dependence on getting someone’s love, approval, or attention to feel worthy, adequate, lovable, and safe.
  • Dependence on sex to fill emptiness and feel adequate.

When you do not take responsibility for defining your own adequacy and worth or for creating your own inner sense of safety, you will seek to feel adequate, worthy and safe externally. Whatever you do not give to yourself, you may seek from others or from substances or processes. Emotional dependency is the opposite of taking personal responsibility for one’s emotional wellbeing.


Not dependent; free; not subject to control by others; not relying on others; not subordinate; as, few men are wholly independent.

The independent person takes personal responsibility for their actions and emotions. What does it mean to take emotional responsibility rather than be emotionally dependent?

Primarily, it means recognizing that our feelings come from our own thoughts, beliefs and behavior, rather than from others or from circumstances. Once you understand and accept that you create your own feelings, rather than your feelings coming from outside yourself, then you can begin to take emotional responsibility.

For example, let’s say someone you care about gets angry at you.

If you are emotionally dependent, you may feel rejected and believe that your feelings of rejection are coming from the other’s anger. You might also feel hurt, scared, anxious, inadequate, shamed, angry, blaming, or many other difficult feeling in response to the other’s anger. You might try many ways of getting the other person to not be angry in an effort to feel better.

However, if you are emotionally responsible, you will feel and respond entirely differently. The first thing you might do is to tell yourself that another person’s anger has nothing to do with you. Perhaps that person is having a bad day and is taking it out on you. Perhaps that person is feeling hurt or inadequate and is trying to be one-up by putting you one-down. Whatever the reason for the other’s anger, it is about them rather than about you. An emotionally responsible person does not take others’ behavior personally, knowing that we have no control over others’ feelings and behavior, and that we do not cause others to feel and behave the way they do – that others are responsible for their feelings and behavior just as you are for yours.

The next thing an emotionally responsible person might do is move into compassion for the angry person, and open to learning about what is going on with the other person. For example, you might say, “I don’t like your anger, but I am willing to understand what is upsetting you. Would you like to talk about it?” If the person refuses to stop being angry, or if you know ahead of time that this person is not going to open up, then as an emotionally responsible person, you would take loving action in your own behalf.

For example, you might say, “I’m unwilling to be at the other end of your anger. When you are ready to be open with me, let me know. Meanwhile, I’m going to take a walk (or hang up the phone, or leave the restaurant, or go into the other room, and so on). An emotionally responsible person gets out of range of attack rather than tries to change the other person.

Once out of range, the emotionally responsible person goes inside and explores any painful feelings that might have resulted from the attack. For example, perhaps you are feeling lonely as a result of being attacked. An emotionally responsible person embraces the feelings of loneliness with understanding and compassion, holding them just as you would hold a sad child. When you acknowledge and embrace the feelings of loneliness, you allow them to move through you quickly, so you can move back into peace.

Rather than being a victim of the other’s behavior, you have taken emotional responsibility for yourself. Instead of staying stuck in feeling angry, hurt, blaming, afraid, anxious or inadequate, you have moved yourself back into feeling safe and peaceful.

When you realize that your feelings are your responsibility, you can move out of emotional dependency. This will make a huge difference within you and with all of your relationships. Relationships thrive when each person moves out of emotional dependency and into emotional responsibility.


Mutually dependent; depending on each other.

Interdependence is a dynamic of being mutually and physically responsible to and sharing a common set of principles with others. This concept differs distinctly from “dependence” in that an interdependent relationship implies that participants are emotionally, economically, ecologically and or morally “interdependent.”

Some people advocate freedom or independence as a sort of ultimate good; others do the same with devotion to one’s family, community, or society. Interdependence recognizes the truth in each position and weaves them together. Two people that cooperate with each other are said to be interdependent. It can also be defined as the interconnectedness and the reliance on one another socially, economically, emotionally and environmentally.

Independent thinking alone is not suited to interdependent reality in relationships. Independent people who do not have the maturity to think and act interdependently may be good individuals, but they won’t be good partners. They’re not coming from the paradigm of interdependence necessary to succeed in marriage and family.

While independence is a very difficult and important developmental stage in human development — a dramatic step up from dependence, as anyone who has teens and two-year-olds will tell you— it is not the ultimate goal of maturity.

As we mature, life encourages us to bring the healthy individuality (which we developed through our independence) into relationships and networks which involve a lot of healthy interdependence. People use words like mutuality, community and synergy to describe this good kind of interdependence.

How To Build An Interdependent Relationship?

Not very happy with the relationship? Feel like there’s some imbalance? Don’t worry. Here are a few simple ways that you may follow and make your relationship steady.

  1. Establish healthy limits: To make your relationship independent and balanced, create healthy channels of communication. When the communication is transparent between the two, and individual priorities are set, the relationship would function properly.


  1. Work on self: Usually, people tend to forget or overlook their own wants and wishes, instead of focusing on their personal growth. Working on oneself should run parallel to the development of your relationship. This will help you become a better person.
  2. Understand each other: One of the chief elements of building a relationship is to understand your partner well. You should know about your significant other’s likes and dislikes, wants, interests, and every other detail of life. When you have clarity on what they want and what you can give, there won’t be room for misconceptions.


  1. Be real: You should not hide or lie to your partner. Always be who you are to establish an open and independent relationship. This will help you to trust your partner, have deeper conversations, and be assured about the longevity of the relationship.


  1. Spend time with your loved ones: Being in a relationship doesn’t mean you should always spend time with your partner. That kind of demand puts a lot of pressure on each other. To maintain interdependency, you should also have healthy relationships with other people in your life, including family members, relatives, and friends.


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