Category Archives: Reciprocity

Share not Sacrifice …

I tend to get so upset with people, especially my family, when they only seem to remember me when they need me. A very wise person told me that I should feel privileged that I am like a beacon of light that comes to their minds when there is darkness in their lives. Easier said than done. But I am going to try to re-adjust my attitude. I am still keeping my distance since I still need respect. There may be times when you just have to love people from a distance. The same wise person reminded me that everyone can’t be in your front row. Its become quite obvious to me that my family no longer needs me – my sisters kids are all grown up. I guess they loved me enough to set me free as well. At least this is a healthier way of viewing things, accepting all to move forward. For a long time, I felt my connection to my family was tenuous at best, strained. And most of the effort was coming from me, one-sided – I see clearly now that I tend to have more vested emotionally in most relationships. Working on this.

I like it when people ask me to help them; often it means that they respect me and my opinion enough to request it, and I appreciate that. Who doesn’t want to feel needed? But when is the relationship is always one-sided – that no longer works for me. I have had to toughen up and learn to be more selfish and set boundaries. I am always willing to help anyone, if I am capable of it, and certainly don’t do something because of what I may get ‘in return’ but there does need to be some element of reciprocity and respect. I used to drop everything instantly to help my family and friends. I have learned that inadvertently I may have caused people to think less of me. When you always say ‘Yes’ without hesitation, they respect you less. Sadly strange I know but learning it’s true. Many may also get the impression that you’ll do anything for them and that they don’t have to do anything for you. It sets up a very unbalanced relationship.

I think there are two kinds of people, those who give and take and those who just want to take. I no longer allow opportunistic acquaintances in my life.

I think the following quote sums up, for me, what friendship means: “I value the friend who for me finds time on his calendar, but I cherish the friend who for me does not consult his calendar.” – Robert Brault

I get lost too easily in the thought of being kind; of turning the other cheek. Too many times, my forgiving heart, my kindness was mistaken for weakness – even I am guilty of doing this to myself. Learning how to find balance and happiness within boundaries and limitations. Learning how to share, give of myself without sacrificing myself. Or losing myself and letting resentment control me.

It’s surprising how much healthier you can feel when you let go, or at least minimize your time with draining, negative, incompatible, not-going-anywhere relationships, friendships, and family … with grace in our steps and hope in our hearts.

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