This is another issue I get asked about a lot. Are our relationships based on love?
Or are they ones that we are dependent on? Do you ever continue relationships with people who do not vibrate at the same frequency, just because you fear being alone or some other reason? Whenever I want to understand what’s at the core of something, I examine children, because they are still pure and not yet shaped by society. Most importantly, they do not have most of the fears that adults have, so they show us how it should be. A child is only dependent on his or her mother and to a lesser extent the father. Children are not conditioned to satisfy all of their desires—they just need to be protected and nourished by their parents. In the absence of the parents, they can become grumpy, but this is normal.
However, all the other relationships that a child has are based on love. As they have strong instincts, they understand who really loves them and who is pretending. They play with the people whom they love and who love them back, and they cry when loveless people approach to them. I am sure most of you have played with children. I really enjoy spending time with them. They show all their love to you while you play with them, even for hours. They hug and kiss you. You laugh together and have fun. Then whenever you tell them that you need to go for now but can play later, they just return to their own games or look for another friend to play with. If they have not been conditioned yet, they will never cry when you leave. Depending on how a child is treated, you can see differences in this behavior, but if you look at babies, you can see it more clearly. At the moment that something else attracts their attention, they will never notice your absence. Why? Is it because they do not love you? Of course not. They live in the moment. They don’t feel the need to depend upon someone they play with. If we had the chance to explain this issue, they would probably laugh at us and think us very strange indeed. However, we as adults are very keen on being dependent, but please do not confuse this with loyalty. It’s even better to have people dependent on us. In fact, it is one of the first things we teach our children when we say, “Did you miss me?” They saw us a few days ago, so why should they miss us? Yet then the child realizes that saying, “No, I didn’t miss you” is unwelcome and equated with saying, “I don’t love you!” The person asking then becomes sad, so the child starts to miss that person to make him or her feel better. However, like with everything, balance is important.
Whenever I hear the word “miss,” I remember Richard Bach’s book There is no place called far away. He says, “Can distance separate us from our friends? When we want to be with someone that we love, aren’t we already there?” Richard Bach does not say to never miss someone but rather that even when you miss someone, you can deal with it by yourself without burdening the person you miss. Even though it seems like a children’s book, it was actually written to protect children from adults’ coding. I firmly believe that every adult should read all the books of Richard Bach.
Ah, my monkey mind likes jumping from one idea to another. I started with love and dependency and then jumped on to the feeling of missing. However, they are not totally irrelevant. In a love-based relationship where people do not see each other for a long period of time, there can of course be feelings of longing. Yes, when we close our eyes and think about someone, we feel it as if we are together, and the subconscious cannot separate reality and imagination if we believe it to be real. Nothing can take the place of a real hug or looking into the eyes of someone you love, of course. In a dependent relationship, however, people are more focused on thinking about themselves without considering the feelings of the other party, because they cannot be fed when the other is away. The feeling of love is a little sour, but it’s still a warm experience in a love-based relationship, while it becomes pain in a dependent one.
There is no need to constantly tell other people, “I missed you so much!” other than because they want to relieve their pain with the energy they are being fed, even from a distance. It’s like the crying of a hungry baby. If the other person also likes dependent relationships, he or she will answer in the same way and do what is needed. This way, they continue to feed each other. Whatever is necessary is done. The person who is away feels guilty for causing the other’s sadness by being away, while the other is already feeling the pain of the other person leaving, so they find their sadness balance. Moreover, the new life of those who are away, the new responsibilities, feelings, or whatever else they must face are not important for the those left behind. They may inquire about them but without caring. They assume that those away are happy and content in their new place, like a baby who does not care if the mom is sleeping badly or sick—the baby just wants to be fed. The mother is supposed to be always strong and not have problems. Her only duty is to feed her baby. The one left behind also never considers how many people the other person is missing and relates it to the sadness he or she is feeling for the absence of just one person in life. Again, it’s like a baby who cares not about the condition of his or her siblings. Please do not misunderstand me here. It’s not bad to say you miss someone, but it is more about how much and how often you say it. In short, it is about how you make the other person feel about it.
Now, please look at your relationships and the relationships around you. How many are based in love and how many are dependent? This dependency might involve a person or your social environment as well. Which behaviors do we adopt to be accepted, approved of, and loved by the people around us? Is the underlying reason to touch other people’s lives or be useful? Is it for love, or do you just want to be liked and admired? There is a very easy way to understand this. For example, would you do the same thing if no one knew that you did it? Please be honest! I am in education, so let me give an example from there. Let’s say you are to give a class that will touch people’s lives, and you will share very important information about mindfulness. What’s more, it will be a free class. Would you give all the information about this class to someone else, explaining how to teach it? And of course, when this person teaches, no one will know that you are the source of this information.
Another way to understand whether you have dependent relationships or not is to check whether you can stay with yourself or not. Here I chose the word “with yourself” on purpose. Even people who live alone do not do this often. I do not mean staying alone at home and reading, watching TV, or whatever. What I mean is switching off all the communication channels, including social media, and just being with yourself, tuning into yourself, listening to yourself, and sometimes facing yourself. Can you do this for an hour every day? Have you ever tried? What about starting with 10 minutes? I can assure you that you will be surprised by what you discover. One time, when I was talking about a silent retreat I had attended, a friend asked me, “Isn’t it boring?” I replied saying that it can only be boring if you are a boring person, because what you do is face yourself.
When we build models in economics, we use dependent and independent variables. For example, growth is usually a dependent variable, and there are many factors that influence the economic growth of a country, and without them, you will not see economic growth. On the other hand, independent variables do not depend on anything else. The dependent variable is affected, however, and sometimes even its very existence is endangered by a decrease or disappearance in some of the variables it depends upon. We humans are created by the life power in us, however. The more we depend on external factors, the more we distance ourselves from our inner power. We come to a point where we think we can’t live or be happy without these factors, while those who know their inner power will never have such problems. They try to balance themselves even amid the external storms. I have talked more about relationships here, but the same thing is also valid for other things, such as money, fame, smoking, alcohol, and so on. In short, you can substitute anything that we can become dependent upon and read the text accordingly. Now it is time to decide. Do you want to be independent and wake up to your inner power, or do you say that you are happy with your dependencies and want to continue this way?