Aubrey Drake Graham, singer/producer, is credited with this quote:

“Live without pretending, love without depending, listen without defending, speak without offending.” After contemplating on the Four Agreements the last couple of weeks, this seems like an appropriate follow-up to share.

Isn’t it hard work to pretend you are someone you really authentically are not? It requires energy, time, and fruitless effort. You can’t just be; you have to think and plan out HOW you are going to be. Acting……. but life is not being in a play: of course, if you have a lot of drama going on, it might feel like a play…..someone else’s perhaps. One’s best bet is to be real….real about how you present yourself to the world. The ‘real you’ , not the one you imagine, is great, more than great and is valued by others. So, let the real you come forth.

I think the next line about loving without depending is all about balancing. In any good relationship, there has to be some depending. For example, we may depend on our partner/friend to keep our trusted agreements for the relationship or to assist us with household ‘stuff’ (so it all gets done, right?).  Depending becomes an issue when it begins to immobilize one in their own arena of life; there is an overwhelming unhealthy dependence to the point that one no longer has control of his/her life. Dependence often comes with neediness. Independence, on the other hand, is healthy and necessary  for balance in the relationship, even the relationship with one’s inner self. (You trust that you can do what ever it takes.) Independence means that one can function in life without ‘having to have’ the approval to act. Independence means that one has JOY and PURPOSE in life that is not dependent on another’s  words or actions. This comes from independently developing one’s own personal values, activities,  and follow through with right action. Too much independence, to the exclusion of consideration for what the other person wants and needs, becomes an issue, much as too much dependence does. Thus, the healthy balancing act between the two. Each person can then interact without sacrificing their personal beliefs and values.

Next time we will talk about the last four lines regarding  listening and speaking.

Where are you on the dependence/independence continuum?


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