Tag Archives: independence

We Need Each Other

You have to forgive this reality for being different than you have always imagined it to be. You have to forgive yourself for not being able to make it on your own, because you have realized the impossibility of doing so. You have to forgive yourself for being what you are, a being who exists only in relationship. (ACOL, C:6.2)

We are beings meant to live in relationship to each other. A holy relationship that features love as its predominant feature.

We have tried, and failed, to be independent, autonomous, needing nobody and nothing. When we failed at that, we reached for a special someone who would answer all of our needs. And we failed at that, too.

Now forgiveness is in store, for ourselves and our God. Our ego got it wrong, believing that autonomy was the way to go. We are made for each other, interdependently. If we stop and think, we realize this even on a secular level.

Our society thrives on competition, but this competition, bottom line, means that there is somebody else who is very, very important to us. The few among us who recognize that cooperation gets us farther in the long run are surely coming to see that we need each other. And not only for love. We need each other simply to exist side-by-side in our crowded world.

End the Charade

“Despite your bravest attempts to remain separate, you must use your brothers and sisters in order to even maintain the illusion of your separation.  Would it not simply be better to end this charade?  To admit that you were not created for separation but for union?  To begin to let go of your fear of joining and, as you do, let go of use as well?  (A Course of Love, 9.49)”
van gogh - starry night and house
Affirmation:  “union–not separation”

Reflections:

1 – Independence

This desire that we all have had, and many of us still seem to have, in being separate, is actually the laudatory way that we look on independence (an interpretation, not stated in ACOL).  We think that not to “need” anybody, except perhaps “special” bodies, is all to the good.  But has it ever worked for very long?

2 – We Need Union

We need union, and not just genuine union in holy relationships with our brothers and sisters, but also union with God.  While union with God has never gone away, and could never go away, for we are part of Him, we can stay oblivious to this union.  And when we are oblivious, we are unhappy and we feel separated.  So in an unnatural way we turn to special relationships to solve our problems.  And these special relationships seem to work for a time, and then they fail us, for they were not made in heaven, but in hell.

3 – Interdependent

We need to recognize that we are meant to be interdependent, which is quite different from the dependence that we all fear, to one extent or another.  And interdependence is different from independence, which we never can sustain for very long at all.

4 – Union

Our union is a more positive, a more exalted, way of expressing our love with our brothers and sisters, and also, of course, with God.  And union is also a more positive way of expressing interdependence.

5 – Joining in One

We can never be satisfied or happy alone, solely alone.  We need God, and most of us need each other.  Very few people are spiritual enough to rely solely on our union with God, and in all likelihood, we are in this world with other people because we cannot sustain separatism.  May we join together today in the holy relationships that we are all intended to have.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I see interdependence as the blessing that it is.  May I no longer strive to independence that leaves my brothers and sisters out in the cold.  We all need each other, and likewise we all need God.  May we come to laud the interdependent nature of our world, and may we understand enough to carry out a relinquishment of independence.

The way in which I discuss independence with You does not rule out isolated times of independent thinking and doing.  But we cannot sustain isolation from You and from others for an extended period of time.  We are social creatures; that is the way that You created us.  May we accept Your intentions today.

Amen.

How Might We Become Complete?

“The goal of this world is for you to stand on your own, complete within yourself.  This goal will never be reached, and only when you give up trying to reach it can you begin to learn anything of value.  You are complete only within God, where you endlessly abide.  Striving to be that which you can never be is the hell you have created.  (A Course of Love, 1.13)”

Affirmation:  “I would depend on God, my Father.”

Reflections:

1 – “Complete within Yourself”

This passage from A Course of Love builds upon the passage from yesterday’s posting, “Are You Loveless and Alone?”  The passage gives a strong warning that we would not actually strive for that which this world encourages:  “complete within yourself.”  This is not a natural way to be.  It is full of stress and pressure, and it ignores the fact that we are in a world filled with our brothers and sisters, to whom we are meant to reach out–to help them and to help ourselves.

2 – Complete Only in God

We are complete only in God, as this passage says.  He is our completion.  And, with Him and our brothers and sisters, we are part of the All.  When we strive to be that which it is not in our nature to be, we make our own hell.  And we are very unhappy in this hell that we have made.

3 – “Make” and “Create”

A Course in Miracles keeps separate the idea of what we “make,” as opposed to what God “creates.”  But A Course of Love is not so careful about this terminology.  Here the passage says that we have “created” the hell in which we live.  Perhaps we may loosen up a bit about the terminology that we use.  Both terms, “make” and “create,” still keep us in hell, until we turn back to what is natural to use as Co-Creators with God.

4 – Independence

We need to give up the goal of independence, a word that is implied but not used in this passage.  We need to stop trying to be “complete within” ourselves.  We can never reach such a goal, and we will find happiness only when we give up trying.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I learned a long time ago that I would never be complete as long as I tried to be super-independent.  When my ego ruled, I thought that this independence was the epitome of right living.  How wrong I was!  Of course, You know that I remembered You, but I even thought that you wanted me to be independent of my family, and because I was shy and introverted, I had a small, though close, circle of friends.

How different life is now that I have learned from Jesus what a mistake it is to seek to be so independent!  We are meant to serve and to be served.  We are meant to help others, and they in turn will help us.  We are meant to reach out.

Once I started reaching out, life settled down for me.  Thank You.  This passage, written long after I learned from You that I would live best if I reached out, does say the same thing in different words.  Maybe Jesus was my companion then, unrecognized (and feared) by me at the time.

We learn as we grow in Your grace.  Help us all to live a bit more interdependently today.  And may we know the truth of the passage for today from A Course of Love.

Thank You for still being there for me in the years that the ego ruled.

Amen.