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Lions Roar : May 2013
relating to that reality. If we do so, we can actually learn to feel at ease in the face of unexpected change, and work comfort- ably with whatever new situations might occur. We can become more skillful in how we relate to the reality of change. The same is true of interdependence. Seeing life from this perspective can help us develop skills to relate more construc- tively to reality—but just knowing that we are interdependent does not guaran- tee that we will feel good about being so. Some people may initially find it uncom- fortable to reflect that they depend on others. They might think this means they are helpless or trapped, as if they were boxed in by those dependencies. Yet when we think about being interdependent, we do not need to feel it is like being stuck in a job working for a boss that we did not choose but have to deal with, like it or not. That is not helpful. We should not feel reluctant or pressured by the reality of our interdependence. Such an attitude prevents us from having a sense of con- tentment and well-being within our own life. It does not give us a basis for positive relationships. Interdependence is our reality, whether we accept it or not. In order to live produc- tively within such a reality, it is better to acknowledge and work with interdepen- dence, wholeheartedly and without resis- tance. This is where love and compassion come in. It is love that leads us to embrace our connectedness to others, and to par- ticipate willingly in the relations created by our interdependence. Love can melt away our defenses and our painful sense of separation. The warmth of friendship and love makes it easy for us to accept that our happiness is intimately linked to that of others. The more widely we are able to love others, the happier and more content we can feel within the relations of interdepen- dence that are a natural part of our life. o From The Heart is Noble: Changing the World from the Inside Out, by the Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, © 2013 by Ogyen Trinley Dorje. Reprinted by arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Inc. SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2013 27