"Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you." - Kahlil Gibran
Like many things in our culture, we want to see things as either all or nothing. The same is true of today's choice in near enemies. The virtue being highlighted is reliance and the state frequently confused with this virtue is codependence.
Depending on Others vs. Collapsing into Others
Reliance (n.) - Reliance is a healthy relationship between people where they support, encourage, and directly assist one another as best they can. People take responsibility for items they can deal with on their own and are able to directly ask for help when it is needed. Support is freely asked for and freely given. A person relying on others is giving people a chance to show love toward them.
Codependence (n.) - Codependence is an unhealthy relationship between people where they support, encourage, and directly assist one another due to a need for validation or an unwillingness to fully engage or take responsibility for aspects of their lives. The parties in a codependent relationship collapse in upon each other and help is often more expected than freely given.
For the codependent relationship, there is usually a needer, who wants to give up control, and a needed, who is willing to take control. The roles aren't always fixed and people can swap out needer with needed and vice versa depending on the situation.
Trusting in Others and Trusting in Yourself
Reliance is the middle ground between total independence and codependence. Being too independent can be just as unhealthy as being codependent -- just in different ways. The same way codependence gives up too much control, total independence doesn't let enough control go.
For a healthy reliance, the person who is too independent must learn to allow others in and rely on and trust them to meet some of their needs. Conversely, the needer party of the codependent relationship must learn to rely more on themselves and the needed party must learn to step back and let another person learn to take personal responsibility.
True reliance is a mix of relying on others and relying on yourself. It's a question of keeping the balance. Too much independence or too little personal responsibility and you can easily veer off course.
Mondays – Near Enemies
Many virtues have a near enemy. These near enemies masquerade as the actual skill and are often unhealthy or unhelpful in the long term. Near enemies create a false separation. A true virtue creates a closeness to others or even your best self.
My Writing and Other Resources for Students
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