Independence, or Interdependence?

This post has been inspired by Todd Fulginiti on Pointless Overthinking with his post Helping Others: Can You Dish It Out But Not Take It?

Quote and photo – Unknown

He told the story of how his check engine light for his up-in-mileage Prius came on, and the car they had pulled up beside belonged to a young man who was an expert in car repair and helped resolve their issue.

He said he and his wife gratefully accepted help and were astonished that the young man would accept no payment. He remembered his Aunties had difficulty accepting help when it was freely given, insisting on forcing payment, and turning what was a wonderfully generous offer into something which could make the giver feel cheap.

I love how miraculous synchronous events happen! Saying yes is practice to accepting the gifts the universe has for us! If we keep saying no, then complain that God isn’t helping or blessing us, we may pray prayers of despair, when we could be praying prayers of thanks! Sometimes we are blessed through others, and not with ever increasing paychecks to be independent. Maybe we need to learn to be interdependent!

Tamara’s comment on Todd‘s post

So the big question today:

Are we so married to our independence that we cannot accept genuine offers? Are we afraid that we will owe the other person something? Are we afraid of looking greedy or like we can’t afford to pay?

Sometimes we need to practice our interdependence with each other! This is neighborliness and caring put into action!

As good as it feels to be a giver, sometimes it is good for our spirit to receive, for we can see how the universe takes care of us in so many small ways!

I used to be a co-dependent martyr who derived her self-worth from running myself into the ground doing for others, yet I struggled to accept help from others unless it really was something I couldn’t do by myself. That’s not a very balanced way to live, is it?

No matter how much I did for others, if I did ask for help I was scolded and judged, so I learned not to ask. Little did I understand at the time that the people I was with were very toxic to me, and most people aren’t like that!

Once I “found my tribe” I learned how to ask for help and how to accept it gracefully without feeling guilty because my people don’t play those negative mind games.

It’s important that we know it’s also okay to ask for help!

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17 thoughts on “Independence, or Interdependence?

  1. Hyper-independence is a trauma response, and what you’ve said here, rings true. I also think our culture promotes independence and “being strong,” as if doing something alone is a prize. It is not. Thanks for sharing this and also linking it to codependence, which as you know, looks like help but is also a trauma response.

    Together, I think we grow. Apart, we suffer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s all a delicate balance isn’t it? Too much either way isn’t healthy for us or our relationships. It’s challenging to find that balance in a very fluid world!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sometimes I read a post and think, “How did they know?!” This was one of them! I’m terrible at accepting help, to the point it’s caused real friction at times. I’m trying to learn the art of the gracious thank-you, but haven’t got it quite down yet. This was a great reminder!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is a tough one, isn’t it?! If we come from a past where we were heavily criticized in the past, for any perceived “weakness” we try to build our inner walls so strongly so we don’t need help and consequently can avoid possibly being criticized again. It’s hard to let down our walls, and with some people, it’s just better not to.

      We need to try to build up our circle of people so we won’t be around people who do that to us, and with whom we can be vulnerable. If your gut is telling you not to lower your walls with someone, pay attention to those signals!

      Likewise, if you feel you can lower your walls, maybe try gently practicing with them.

      An enthusiastic “Oh, thank you so much!” even to a stranger opening a door helps us to build up our practice to be able to accept help for bigger things!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow, you’ve hit the nail so precisely on the head. What you just said made things click that I’ve never put together. Bless you for that, and thank you for taking time to provide such a thoughtful response. You’ve given me things to contemplate and work on. 🤍

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I love when you talk about the need “to practice our interdependence with each other.” I, too, once had difficulty in asking for help and receiving freely from others. In a transactional world, I feared that the giver would expect a favor in return at some future time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course, that is still a very real pitfall to look out for with certain people. Thankfully not everyone is this way, but we do need to be discerning! If we have no other choice, we can still choose how much help we want to ask for, knowing that at some point that person will come knocking on our door in the future!

      It’s something I still need to examine within myself from time to time, for I tend to be very independant!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Love this Tamara. Especially, “Once I “found my tribe” I learned how to ask for help and how to accept it gracefully without feeling guilty because my people don’t play those negative mind games.”

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head for me. With my “people” I am way better at receiving because I feel safe.

    Thanks for the inspirational post!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My pleasure Wynne! I’m so happy this resonates within you. It definitely is all about who we choose to be in our lives isn’t it? When we come from toxic and abusive pasts we don’t realize that until we leave, then the silence helps us to understand how much we were overloaded with negativity!

      Liked by 2 people

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