It seems to me that we all take ourselves far too seriously.
Everyone goes around, trying only to give as much as they've gotten. God forbid someone take too much from us, without making up for it later. It's amazing that our heads don't explode from keeping track of who owes what to whom in every relationship we have.
I'm not really talking about money, either, though that can be part of it, but favors, affection, kind words, unsolicited help, and general regard are all parts of it.
I'm not discluding myself. If someone asks me for something, and my internal tabulator cannot make it fit into the economics of our relationship, I am irked. Similarly, if someone offers to help me with something, and I can't find a way in which they somehow owe it to me, I am uncomfortable and, usually, refuse. Unusual debts are more difficult to keep track of and to reconcile. And we all must always be reconciled.
We can't really figure out which is worse - to feel that someone has taken too much from us, or to feel that we have taken too much from someone else. It's all arrogance. We think of ourselves as strong people, no one's doormat, people who draw the line where the line needs to be drawn. We are also offended by the idea of owing something to someone else. We are far too independent for that.
I want to let go. I want all that I have to be fluid, to come and go as the world around me calls for it, like the ocean throwing waves on the shore and then taking them back. I don't want to fight the ocean. I don't want to keep track, either. It gives me anxiety.
It seems that the only human relationship that seems to, on occasion, escape this system is the relationship between parents and children. (Please let me make this romantic generalization. Thanks.) The best parents will give and give and give everything they have to give, including the most earnest and pain-staking decision-making as to what it is, exactly, that their precious little ones need. Do they run dry? Do they ever decide that they've been used up, or that they've somehow lost their worth? Not usually. Not in a fatal way, anyway. They are fueled by love.
Why do we, then, fear so much? If I lend someone money and they don't pay me back, am I somehow less of a person? Have they taken any of my humanness away? No. No. No.
Love. Confidence. Gratitude. Holding on to these things, maybe I can let go of everything else.
fellow synchrobloggers' posts:
What Do I Owe You?
debt we debtors
Debt of Lament