I’ve heard a lot of songs with the words “without you”
With our without you, with or without you I- I can’t live, with or without you. – U2, With Or Without You.
That’s tough. I understand clearly why you wouldn’t be able to have certain people in your life. (Betrayal for example, and all those other unpleasant things)
But how is it that, sometimes, we feel like we cannot live without some people even though they are no good?
Let me shed some light on the situation.
Think about lights.
There are two ways in which they can be connected in a circuit, in series and in parallel.
- All the lights are connected along a single conductive path
- The same current goes through them but the voltage drops and this drop in voltage means that the lights don’t shine as brightly as possible.
- There is shared resistance.
- OH and lest I forget, if one light is not functioning, the circuit breaks and all the lights switch off. (Like dominoes, one falls and the rest go tumbling after
- Lights connected in parallel are connected along multiple paths so that the current can split up; the same voltage is applied to each light and the lights shine brighter than they would if they were connected in series.
- Get this, one light stops working, the rest keep on shining.
- I repeat each bulb has its own circuit, so all but one light could be burned out, and the last one will still function
So I hope you can see where I’m going.
“People are flighty, they leave, you cannot and should not put all your trust in them.”
Psalms 118 backs me up on this
Verses 8-9 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.
No man is an island, we have to interact with people to live a fulfilling life, we have to connect with people. Now you must consider the connection you would like. Series or parallel?
Series connections perfectly illustrate toxic interactions where there aren’t enough clear lines and boundaries.
Robert Frost was right “Good fences make good neighbors”
In series you align all aspects of your existence to a person or group of people to the point where you feel like you cannot live without them, but since they make your light dimmer – you can’t live with them.. yet you can’t sever them because they complete your circuit. They are your lifeline – they falter, you falter. And if you fall they fall too. Just thinking about the constant uncertainty scares me.
You have clear boundaries, thus there isn’t shared resistance. Their problems aren’t your responsibility and your problems aren’t their responsibility.
In parallel, you live in comfort and you can be the best you can be because the voltage is not lowered by your affiliation with people. If the person has to leave for some reason or another, you’ll be able to live without them because, well, your lifeline isn’t based on something as fleeting as a human being.
That is a lot to deal with in both cases, it’s just the pain of one kind of loss is more pronounced than the other. In series, the whole room goes dark. In parallel, the room just becomes less bright.
We’re supposed to complement and not complete each other.