Eric Butterworth was an ordained Unity minister and author of numerous articles and books. The following excerpt is from his book Celebrate Yourself!
Excessive dependency is a common ailment. It may be in the form of leaning on friends, teachers, doctors or ministers. Or it may be a dependency on alcohol, cigarettes, coffee or drugs. We have been misled with the belief that we come into life as empty creatures who must find fulfillment in the world. Unless something happens within us that reveals our relationship to the divine flow, we look for sure harbors, strong arms and all kinds of synthetic means of support.
We need to know that … he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4), so we can overcome any situation or meet any experience without leaning on people or stimulants. We must work at it. We must grow. Growth is what life is all about.
Take a careful inventory of your behavior. You may note that you are too easy on yourself, that you give in too quickly. For this reason you discover and use only a small part of your potential. Challenge yourself to go a little further, beyond the point of weakness. Reach for God before reaching for the aspirin bottle. Try a brief meditation before giving in to the medication. Pass a meal when you realize that you are being ruled by the dinner bell. Take time to realize your inner support before you run home to “mama” (lean too much on a friend or advisor).
This is not a morality judgment. Excessive dependency is sinful only in the sense that sin is the frustration of your potential. Every time you “over-lean” on anything or anyone other than the strength of the Almighty within you, you progressively lose your self-respect.
You can get rid of your crutches, but first you must be willing to change your thinking. You can't rise to new strength while dwelling on your weaknesses. Begin seeing yourself in the light of the possibility of change. Don't fall back on the cliché, “That's just the way I am.”
Thought is always parent to the act. You may have been starting with external facts, and thus you have created a repetition of facts of a similar nature. Now reverse the process. Start with Truth. Think the kind of thoughts that will produce the kind of conditions you want to see manifest in your life. Know that you are created in God's image-likeness with limitless potential to do and do well all that needs to be done.
You may have accepted weakness as the starting point: “After all, I AM only human.” But you are not only human. You are human and divine, and the divine is enclosed in the shell of the human. Like the egg in the next, you must hatch out—and you can. Weakness is habitual because your thought about yourself has been habitually negative. There is no such thing as inherent weakness, only deep-seated subconscious patterns of limitation. But “underneath are the everlasting arms.” Strength is the reality of you. It is the divine level with which you need to identify whenever you are tempted to lean.
You can be free, you can overcome, you can get rid of any and all crutches—not by willpower but by the outforming process of consciousness. It is not will but willingness. God wills it! Say yes to it!