i want to break down that stigma and reveal one of society's lies. independence may be inherently good, in many cases, but dependence is not inherently bad.
children are dependent. so are employees. how about animals? some creatures depend on other creatures which are entirely different from them. most living creatures depend on air, water, food, protection of some kind...
what gets me is that i seem to be emotionally dependent on things/people. if i had three wishes, i'd use one of them to become emotionally independent. then i might even be able to choose what i'm feeling whenever i want! i could still let myself be affected by things, but i'd have final say in those experiences.
children, employees, animals... these are good examples of dependence. but here's the one i first thought of, and it's probably the strongest: spouses. any husband or wife with a healthy marriage relationship is very dependent on lor spouse, and only becomes more so as time carries the relationship onward! the stronger their relationship is, the more they depend on each other.
that baffles me. as messed up as the world is, i don't think anyone would say "marriage is inherently bad/evil." and yet marriage is the epitome of dependence, and the world definitely seems to be advocating independence!
we do it in dating relationships as well. in fact, some people get into those relationships because they are already dependent people! we would all frown upon this (stigma), and yet we acknowledge the fact that healthy romantic intimate committed exclusive relationships constantly foster dependence between the two lovers!
my parents just recently celebrated their 25th anniversary. imagine if my mother died tomorrow. due to their strong, enduring marriage, Dad would have an emotional breakdown.
i know marriage has many inherent risks and dangers, but that's just wild. here's a translation of what people are really saying when they make their vows at the altar:
"i now pledge to you my whole life, such that if you die, so do i."
now, friends, don't get all fussy; i'm only slightly exaggerating. some of you know the deep, excruciatingly painful void of losing a loved one. imagine being married to that someone who dies.
last night i was lamenting my emotional dependence. i experienced a deep depression, not new to me, and finally identified the source (with some help from C. S. Lewis' the Four Loves). this morning i was considering writing it off as a heart palpitation (basically a mild electrical malfunction). but now, i have to admit that, considering my circumstances and recent life-adventures, that depression was very understandable.
on the one hand, that sucks, because it means i have to accept them instead of fight them. (i know i'll have more in the future.) on the other hand, it's great, because it means i don't have to fight them. (i know i'd almost always lose.)
~ ~ ~
the trick, then, is not to find a balance between solitude and socializing, but rather to find a balance between dependence and independence. they're similar, but not exactly the same. oh; forgive me, i should rephrase. i need to find a way to integrate my independent aspects with my dependent aspects, so that i can live life as one whole person, rather than as many different parts of a person.
EDIT: didn't C. S. Lewis say something about becoming invulnerable to pain by refusing to ever love or be loved?