Giving v. Taking

Isn’t it amazing that you can be chatting with someone, and then all of a sudden you’re hit with a personal epiphany?  Maybe because I’m always reflecting on why I’m a certain way, why I think something, why I do something like I do…But so I was chatting with the Best Man on last week Sunday after the whirlwind that was our best friends getting married to each other.  It started off as me telling him about all the things everyone had been telling me about him.  And then I admitted that there are times I’m afraid my friends wouldn’t do the same for me. I mean, I hate to admit it, but a lot of the things I do are for my friends because I am just a naturally giving person (that’s not to say that I’m not selfish, but I always feel awful about that after) almost to a fault.

One of the hardest things I’ve had to accept is that there’s really no reciprocity in those situations.  I’m always going to give more than I’ll ever receive.  And I shouldn’t let something silly like not getting the same amount back stop me from giving or loving or being there for someone.  That’s not fair.

It’s hard to explain, but it boils down to I never want to be burned out of being the giving person I am.  I don’t want to become jaded about it just because I expect reciprocity.  I shouldn’t expect it, and maybe I’m hurt when I don’t receive the same amount or more, but I shouldn’t expect it!  I don’t want to lose the giving part of myself.  If anything, I should give more just because I want to.  I’m not saying I do things for a selfish reason at all, I do things for people because I want to (believe me, if I didn’t want to do something, I would either reluctantly do it or I wouldn’t do it at all).

It also gets down to the core of my beliefs, I’ll always do things for people because it’s better to spend money or energy on others than it is on me. The easiest example is thus: In school if someone asked me for help, I would always drop everything to help them.  Especially if I knew exactly what to do and the other person was struggling. On the flip side, I hardly ever would ask for help because 1) I didn’t want to burden someone, and 2) because I always felt that I needed to learn things myself.

I was telling the Best Man, and explaining badly I might add, my thoughts on this…I don’t know why it’s so hard to explain, but it’s almost like the giving part of myself is something that’s so ingrained with who I am, that to lose it would make me feel not like myself.  Like really, there are days when I remember how I was back in elementary and middle school, remember the kind, giving person I was, and then I look at myself and hardly recognize who I am with how I act now.  I’m still giving, but I’m definitely not as kind.  I judge, based on super silly stuff, I claim I don’t gossip but I do.  But if there are some things that I never want to lose, it’s my inability to apologize for things I don’t feel sorry for – the one thing I don’t need from someone is an insincere apology – and my giving nature.  If I lose those, then for sure I’ll lose my identity, and I guess that terrifies me more than anything.

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