Do you want the giving and taking in your relationships to be 50-50, fair and square?
Some people keep a magic scoreboard to track kindnesses, lunch checks, cruel as well as I love you words and even unintended slights.
The result can be a withholding of affection that in turn fosters a cycle of conditional love. Soon our relationships can be governed by Ill do this for you if you do that for me.
The following poem I borrowed from Deepak Chopras memorial tribute to his friend and co-founder of the Chopra Center for Well-Being, Dr. David Simon.
Simon, my meditation and yoga mentor, used to teach through story-telling, poetry and his example of unconditional giving.
Was he perfect in his unconditional love? Probably not, but he was a fine example of someone who practiced giving and non-judgmentalness. I never heard him imply or say, You owe me.
I hope you are inspired by one of his favorite poets, Hafiz.
The Sun Never Says
all this time
the sun never says to the earth,
You owe me.
with a love like that
It lights the whole world.
Are we capable of unconditional love? I do believe many of us gave, or did our best to give, unconditional love to our children. Our goals were to raise loving, successful and productive adults, not to have them love us equally in return.
I do know as a psychologist that when parents had the expectations that their children love them as a goal, they stopped being effective parents. I also witnessed as a couples therapist that when couples kept magic scoreboards of fairness, their marriages suffered. Withholding of affection, attention and appreciation begets more of the same.
Life is not always fair. Relationships are not always even. Our natures are all different. Without receivers, how can givers give?
That does not mean that surrounding yourself with narcissistic people who never learned the joy of giving is a good idea.
On the contrary, give and take is the way to keep recycling love. It just isnt always even or fair, so why waste time keeping a scoreboard?
Place your focus on the fun and the light in your life. Be effortlessly shining, like the sun toward the earth or David Simon to his students.
Joan Dickinson, Ed.D., an Anna Maria Island resident, is a life coach, certified yoga/meditation instructor, health care/wellness consultant and a retired psychologist and behavioral health care director. Her column appears every other week. She can be contacted at 941-778-8356, P.O. Box 731, Anna Maria, FL 34216 or www.PerfectLifestyleCoach.com.