A Response to Emotional Self Reliance

I wanted to respond to an article from Leo Babauta from Zen Habits. He writes about emotional self reliance. In the article, his main points are that dependence on other people shows a lack of emotional self reliance.

I think that’s pretty solid advice. If I’m dependent on how I feel from another person, then that says I need the other person to approve of me in some way for me to be happy. Certainly it’s OK for someone to feel joy, love, and connection from another, but the feeling should be mutual sharing, not deprivation or jealousy at not getting it.

I think back to the times in my life when I let myself  get to emotionally dependent on a situation unfolding. As those happened, I was like a driver of a car with a windshield painted black not knowing exactly where I was headed until it was too late. Having the solid foundation of having your emotions in strong command will help you find inner happiness and peace and then, possibly, enhance that if another person comes into your life who can mutually do so with you.

The one thing I would argue against is that there are many shared experiences that can be had among people who are close. You can become too emotionally self reliant to the point you are like a water valve that can no longer give you water. Being too emotionally self reliant can rob you of very rich and rewarding people connection experiences.

Like anything, it’s a balancing act. Invest too much emotionally – or invest too much emotionally while not being emotionally strong and you become dependent. Invest too little and you miss out on possible connection and love with another person or people. I think it starts with your inner self. Get centered and happy with who you are. Even if you aren’t there yet, decide each day you will be centered and strong with yourself. Eventually, you will get there.

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