Things that are really worth the effort always appear to be really hard on the surface and sometimes they actually are but they are also always really, really super ultra-squishy and gooshy and yummy and satisfying on the inside.
In fact, once you break through that exterior be prepared for some amazingly fragile sensitive stuff to present itself to you. It seems there are always dualities in nature. Even in our emotions. I guarantee you somewhere beneath every hard-hearted bastard you encounter in life is the most sensitive soul you ever dreamed into existence. Will you ever meet him? Maybe not. And the one who presents his sensitive soul directly to you? You would be doing yourself a favor to expect to encounter a big crunchy almond inside that smooth and delicious dark chocolate covered chewy coconut yumminess.
A true friend reminded me today that we don’t always get direct output from our inputs. Or is that input from our outputs? Either way, what I’m trying to say is what one person shows you is not only not always but definitely NOT what they show others, or what they give or how they take. I have learned not to expect anything when I give—not even a thank you.
True giving is the most selfish of selfless acts. There’s really nothing generous or charitable or altruistic about true giving. I give because it makes me feel good. Can’t speak for the rest of you, but I wouldn’t keep doing something over and over again if it didn’t give me pleasure. Much pleasure.
Yes, I said it. Pleasure. I don’t give because I’m a good person or any of that other lofty stuff I used to tell myself. A funny thing happened the minute I realized I was giving to others in order to make myself FEEL GOOD. I also realized that 90% of the stuff I was giving out was actually unnecessary and unwanted by the people I was selfishly “giving” to.
Hard to believe all my selfless serving of others was so…not actually in the service of others. And since the things I was doing were not actually things that made me feel good but things I thought I “should” do or had to do in order to “pay someone back” I never felt satisfied except during the actual doing of the thing. I looked for gratitude and found none. Looking back I can see how some of the things I was doing “for others” were not very helpful at all.
Best case, my desire to feel good was just a big waste of time. Worst case my greed actually ended up hurting the people I supposedly loved by taxing our relationship. (See Bag Lady’s Bliss) I had no boundaries! No limits to the lengths I would go to “help” others including hurting myself. Which, also made me feel even better to have made a “real sacrifice”. Quite a mixed message I was sending myself.
I got stuck in a cycle of doing more and more things for others instead of doing the one thing for myself that would have been completely satisfying. It didn’t make sense for me to keep doing something that didn’t make ME feel good.
Historically, I’ve struggled with direct reciprocity. I struggled to find a way to directly repay someone who had done me a favor or given me a gift. I grew up thinking, “what comes around goes around”. I wanted to make sure that what I sent around was “equal” to what I had been given instead of the other way around.
Today I’m much better at accepting gifts from others whether they come in the form compliments, help, advice or things because I know that the people in my life who genuinely care about me are giving out of a love of giving, not because they think I’m lacking.
That is probably the best way to describe the point I’m trying to get across in this message. Whenever I think, what can I do to “help” this person, I have to stop and ask myself not, “What are they lacking?” but “What do I have to give?” That way I’m never giving more than I have and they are always getting exactly what they need, though it may not be from me.
So, I know you didn’t ask for my advice and you’re probably not scouring the internet looking for some random chick to tell you how to live your life and that’s okay. Because I didn’t write this for you, I wrote it for me!