I have been thinking a lot about this recently. How much I prefer to give than to receive, but at the same time, how I find myself struggling not to judge when I feel I have given much and received only more demands.
It happens at work, with my efforts and also in relationships with my friends, my family, my partner. It happens with material things and those invisible ones as well.
I love giving presents to people I love and I always strive to get that perfect present, the one they want but don’t expect. I remember offhand mentions of interests when it comes to buying a present for someone and I really enjoy seeing smiles when they open them. I love hearing heartfelt thanks. The people I enjoy giving presents to the most are my brothers. I know what they like, and if I have the money, any price is worth their shocks and laughter. I got my otaku baby brother a cloak from the character he loves and my music-adict middle brother really fancy headphones for their birthdays. But they never got me anything… They are the easy ones, though, I don’t mind that at all because my love for my brothers is one of the hugest I’ve ever felt. Yet sometimes I wonder… Am I giving too much?
It reminds me also of an ex-boyfriend. Everyone agreed I was giving too much in that relationship, not only materially, but it was energetically draining. Trying to pull out two people is exhausting if you’re the only one pulling.
For some reason, it’s very hard for me to understand how some people can be so much in the receiving end without feeling like they should give back. Whenever I get a present, specially one I love, I try to give back to that person threefold. It’s what feels right to me. With the right people, it turns into this amazing constant giving cycle, in terms of support, understanding, positive energy and it doesn’t end and it’s beautiful to be a part of it.
Some other times, people manage to make me feel used and make me want to stop giving to them. I don’t like that, because I don’t like the side of myself that doesn’t feel like giving. I feel I am being judgemental and petty, but I just can’t bring myself to do something that will not be appreciated or it’s just not deserved. A very simple example: one of my flatmates has taken to leaving her dishes undone if I’m not working that day, because I’d done hers together with mine a couple of times. She, though, never does the same for me. I don’t feel like doing her dishes anymore, even if she’s had to work and not me, and the kitchen is a mess.
I remember going to church when I was growing up and being told that if I paid tithe, I’d get ten times back… but wasn’t the point of tithe helping the needy? I don’t need ten times what I have. I need what I have. That’s why I never paid tithe.
I believe it was Immanuel Kant that said that no good deed is really “good”, because there’s always some benefit for you. Acceptance, praise, something back. I don’t want to really see it this way, but I am led to. Even in myself, even trying hard not to, I still expect something in return of my giving. At least a smile.
I wish I can one day be as selfless as to truly give without those expectations. I am still happy to give, which I think wouldn’t be a problem if more people felt this way.
I’m just a person, but I wish I was more like the sun in that way.
And even to the sun, I cover it with blessings every time I am under His warm loving rays. Because I think He deserves it.
That’s what feels right to me, at least.
Blessings and light, have a good weekend!