Everyday Dilemma: Even though I’m exhausted, should I push myself to keep that independence that makes me feel really competent and good? Or, should I just relax today and enjoy depending on family and friends for all the wonderful things they bring me?

When I was growing up, the silver lining of a woman’s life was clearly marriage and children. This scenario promised to deliver all the important, meaningful, and worthwhile treasures of being.

I was told I could depend on this as surely as I depend on gravity to hold me down, or on plant life to feed me. A career was only something you did until your real life happened!

Today’s silver lining reflects something quite different. It promises the treasures of a successful career, financial security on your own terms, power and influence, and maybe, if there’s time, a family and children. The emphasis on staying home, raising a family, and leaving financial matters to others did a 180° turn.

Woman’s Liberation seemed to say, “Avoid dependence! Grab independence and hold on!” Independence from dependence defined the ultimate success. Like many other women, demanding freedom to earn my own way, acquire recognition, influence, and equal pay became my feminine battle cry!

I’m sorry to say I also adopted an ugly attitude toward women who chose to stay home and let others take care of them! Of course, I eventually realized I was simply green with envy because, in my heart, I wanted that life too!!!

An inner tug-of-war began pulling me in two directions. Dependence equaled failing and losing my financial freedom (even though secretly I wanted to be taken care of, despite any blow to my self-esteem). Independence equaled success for my gender and progress for human consciousness (but secretly I hated the pressure, politics, and exhausting stress).

The predicament, then and now, is that we all want the benefits of both independence and dependence - and none of the liabilities!

Intuitively, I knew it was wrong to pick independence or dependence as a life style, but I couldn’t seem to integrate the two. Trying to generate one while avoiding the other was exhausting, and I was blind to the reality that neither was better than the other.

So when I discovered the powerful notion of independence and dependence as an interdependent polar pair, I knew I had found an authentic silver lining – one that offered the freedom of embracing both experiences without anxiety or shame.

It wasn’t an independent life, or a dependent one, that brought forth the treasures of living. The freedom of a two-sided silver lining is its invitation to embrace both independence and dependence as one seamless whole called interdependence. One moment, independence appears - the next, dependence. Neither alone can provide a happy, balanced lifestyle. The key, I learned, is not choosing either one over the other.

Interdependence means two independent things depending on each other. Whether you’re relating with your beloved, your children, friends, work, God, the Universe, Mysterious Whole,or yourself, interdependence is a given. This two-sided silver lining provides room for both you and me, time to be both alone and together, and freedom to happily be both dependent and independent.

With this paradoxical wisdom in hand, you’ll soon find wild blossoms of Love and Compassion daring to flower in both your heart and soul.

Author's Bio: 

Ragini Elizabeth Michaels, author & International Trainer of NLP & Hypnosis, offers her 3rd book on how to better navigate duality even as you strive to move beyond it - Unflappable - 6-Steps To Staying Happy, Centered, & Peaceful No Matter What. Ragini offers a FREE VIDEO SERIES from her website www.RaginiMichaels.com as well as on-line trainings to support your integrating her original 6-Step Process into your brain and body.