Life Advice



Single File: Undependence (Part 1)

Susan Dietz on

As regular readers know, that's no typo. "Undependence" is my word for wholeness, the ability to be comfortably alone with oneself -- not all the time and not as a way of life but definitely when the alternative is boring or disagreeable company. But this society feels uncomfortable when we're not paired off two by two, because it sees aloneness as rejection. (Have I lost some of you already?) So it's almost an act of heroism to peel off from the herd and enjoy some me time. (But do it, friend, and I promise you a positive experience.)

The thing is, it takes aloneness to become acquainted with yourself. There is no other way to tune out the distractions of a busy world and come to a state of quietude. You see, the condition of wholeness demands an inner quiet, a state of serenity and contentment. Nurturing intimacy with oneself can be done only in a tranquil setting, a space where noise and chatter diminish and one's own personhood comes to the surface. It is that upfront presence that's the basis for establishing friendship with one's own essence. We all have that inner core, but many of us don't take the time (or the leap of faith) to find it and then build a bond with it.

Ironically, it takes some faith to forge roads inward and trust they will ultimately lead outward. (Believe me, they always do!) After all, the point of knowing our true personhood is to expand outward into the larger world. It's a journey that leads inward first as a prerequisite for propelling the seeker back into the mainstream of life, a return trip that delivers an individual stronger and more confident, abler to be a helpmeet in love.

Ironic that alone time builds the ability to form a strong love relationship? Not when you realize that the undependent person is the only one who can blend into a deep love relationship without fearing the loss of his or her identity. This may be an important truth to recognize today, but it's not a new one. Years ago, the Lebanese poet Khalil Gibran reminded lovers:

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:

Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.

Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.

Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,


Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.

For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together yet not too near together:

For the pillars of the temple stand apart,

And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.


Have a question for Susan? You can reach her directly at We've uncovered another treasure trove of "Single File" paperbacks -- in perfect condition, signed by Susan, ready to enjoy. Send $15 and your address: Susan Deitz, C/O Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.




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