Years ago, when I first read the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, I felt the real breakthrough was Covey’s simple, yet profound insight that you must first achieve independence before you can accomplish interdependence. There are a lot of parallels in living a prosperous life and maintaining healthy and loving relationships…
In an enlightened society, we must depend on each other to make our daily existence function better. It just works well if some people specialize in giving massages, while others are plumbers, and yet others concentrate on brain surgery. This system works elegantly until we start becoming dependent on other people psychologically and emotionally. (For my newsletter subscribers, think about the topic we discussed in the last Friday Filosophy edition.)
The danger is when you begin to rely on other people for your happiness. What happens next is that you start requiring the people around you to contribute to your happiness to stay in your orbit. Conversely, if you tell someone that you love them so much that you can’t live without them – if you are so emotionally or psychologically dependent on them – we can’t really classify that as love.
For love and loving relationships to work, there can’t be demands or dependency. The relationship must be built on the music that is created when each of you contribute your melody. And when that other party steps away for any reason, you still have to be able to play your own song.