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March 15, 2012 / Dale Melchin

The Dependence-Interdependence Continuum Part 2

Dependence what and when it should occur.

So… what does dependence look like?

This:

Also: Give this guy credit for the Baby photo

Ah the infant, the epitome of cuteness and human dependence.  According to Dr. Covey and many other experts a human being in this form will die if they are not fed changed and cared for routinely until they are able to do all that stuff for themselves.  I’m not using this image to make fun of babies, but to make a point about humanity: that this is the picture of humanity when they are not functioning properly.

That’s right, when we engage in dependent behavior, whether it is learned helplessness, or we have the ability to do for ourselves and don’t want to do it, we are acting like this cutie at some level.

Except that its not cute when adults do it!

Dependent people are very reactive: i.e.: easily offended, give up when obstacles come down in their endeavors, or simply depend upon others to do thinking or doing or gathering resources.  Now I am NOT knocking people who are at double digit age and they organically cannot do for themselves.  That is sad and they deserve our help. Period.  Do NOT question my humanity!

But there is a problem when someone is at a double digit age and they choose to act like this bundle of joy.

What is sad and unnatural is when people who have had the proper training at some level, but do not use that training still choose to rely on others.  I think this maybe where we get the phrase: “you are acting like a baby” when an adult chooses to throw a temper tantrum.

I also realize that some of this infantile behavior stems from two things.

The first area is yes, negative external conditioning from home life, or friends one had while growing up.  I get that!  But don’t use that as a weapon to defend why you are still acting that way!

The other area is: The Self.  Yep, that means YOU!  And what I mean by that is when one does not control the things that one can control, like behavior or feelings or thought patterns, it results in a degradation of personal power, one has less confidence in the Self and control over ones life begins to degrade, resulting in more whining as well as the various psychological diseases we have.  If you think I’m just flouting my opinion read Dr. Covey’s books and read Viktor Frankel and they will tell you otherwise.

Now, what is the solution?  Well I’m glad that you asked.  One cannot change the past.  That is for certain, that is beyond our control.  However, one can control the present and future.

How you ask?

There are a variety of methods out there.  There are at least six major world religions out there that have the tools you need to untie the knots of negative conditioning and put you on the path to a better life.  There is also psychotherapy as well if you don’t buy into religion at any level.  (Isn’t the Universe nice?)

But, here is the catch.  None of the Traditions will work unless YOU become actively involved in using them and implementing the methods they teach for individual growth.  This includes modern psychology.  Bottom line.  You have to get involved with your own life in order to clear your hard drive and get on the path to success.  The Traditions will not work unless you start aligning your heart and behavior with the results you want in your life.  Your activities must lead to the results you want!

So my advice, go on a spiritual quest, find the things you need to get your life together and take the journey from dependence to independence.  It is generally a long, challenging road, but it is doable because anything worth doing is ultimately a challenge.  And your life is worth repair, isn’t it?  Hell, I think so, and I haven’t even met you yet, reader.

What are some good self help books that you’ve read that have worked for you or didn’t work for you?  What do you do to combat old habits in your life?

Recommended reads:  Dr. Phil Self Matters, Seven Habits, Five Pillars of Life by Dr. Stephen Rodger.

More to come!

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