Last week, I mentioned in passing how hard it was telling Thor, ‘I need you.’ From the moment we are pushed from our mother’s body, we are progressively taught not to NEED anyone. Be a ‘big boy’ or ‘good girl’ we are told. But the truth is that we all need someone.
Don’t think so? Think about people stranded alone on desert islands or cosmonauts on the Russian space station…they went crazy at times.
But there is a difference between needing someone and being needy. To understand those differences, let’s look at three related words: independence, co-dependence and interdependence.
Independence – freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or the like, of others. (Dictionary.com)
Co-dependence – a type of dysfunctional helping relationship where one person supports or enables another person’s addiction, poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-achievement. (Wikipedia)
- Interdependent people combine their own efforts with the efforts of others to achieve their greatest success.’
- ‘Interdependence is a choice only independent people can make’ (Stephen Covey – The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People)
See that…interdependence, i.e. truly needing someone, is only possible when you have achieved independence. Otherwise, you will always end up in the unhealthy cycle of co-dependence.
I was reminded of the difference this week in a very uncomfortable way. I have said before and I will again…long distance relationships suck. And the past couple of weeks that vital communication between Thor and I has been minimal.
And it began to make me feel insecure. The man I just told ‘I need you.’ Yes, I do, but I also know that I have the strength, the independence, to make it on my own. It is what makes this relationship with them so strong.
That all began this time last year. You see every December I set goals for the various areas of my life, including love. Now every single year love has been one of those ‘red’ areas, meaning unhappy, trouble. This year though rather than focus upon ‘finding someone’ I decided to be that somone…to learn to love myself. I set goals that bolstered that.
You know what happened? When I quit looking for it and focused on being happy alone, liking my own company, not one but two truly special men came into (back into) my life. Still there was no rush. It was friendship…and it still is. Even when I am on my knees before either of them.
You see if you truly want to have that special interdependence that culminates with combining your own efforts with the efforts of others to achieve their greatest success then you first must be capable of standing on your own. And even in that depth of interdependence you don’t lose it…that is another difference with co-dependence.
The truth is to need someone makes you a stronger, better person. To be needy means you lose part of yourself in them, it pulls you down.
I am strong when I am on my knees…
And they are stronger men, better Doms for having me kneel before them.
That is the power of NEED and interdependence, folks.