It is easier for me to see what I need to change about myself than it is for me to start the process. Thank God for the BHE.
I came across this quote on Facebook* a few weeks ago:
“You’ll end up really disappointed if you think people will do for you as you do for them. Not everyone has the same heart as you.”
Since reposting it on my personal page, I’ve thought about it a lot. My take on the meaning is a polar opposite to how the BHE read it. Positive, generous people see this as an affirmation to the good they do while negative individuals with miserly tendencies see this as a warning.
It is an affirmation to the BHE; it’s a warning to me. Yet another reason why he’s the Best Husband Ever… And I need him to balance me.
I know I’m negative most of the time. I know I focus on the bad and dwell in my own head until I can become mired in unhealthy thoughts. I know I’m not as generous with my love, talents, and material things as I should be, could be. Luckily (for me, my friends, and the rest of the world), the BHE is here to balance me out.
I guess you could say I balance him as well, seeing as how devastated he could be without my miserly ways. But I digress…
Someone like him sees this saying and interprets it thus:
Don’t be disappointed when you find yourself the constant giver. You are not a taker. You have been blessed with a big heart, sharp mind, and enough material possessions/money to help those around you. Don’t be concerned if others don’t reciprocate; maybe they can’t. Even if they could give back in the literal sense, maybe they aren’t as kind and generous, thoughtful and thankful as you are. You shouldn’t be upset by this but rather happy you have been able to help these people in the ways only you can. You have a big heart and you are a giver.
Someone like me, however, sees this:
You’re going to get screwed if you give too much because too many people are ungrateful takers.
Yep. That’s it, balancing each other out.
Grateful, Not Hateful
I don’t want such a negative view of the people in our lives. I don’t want to be so hateful about the takers. Thinking on this quote and talking out the thoughts in my head, the BHE helped me realize that I ought to be grateful we have friends and that those friends know they can rely on us. We should be grateful for family and friends and the means to assist those we love, not hateful that so many ask without giving, take without thanks. It isn’t what giving is about.
See, Mr. Positive believes we have been blessed in order to be in the position to give. We haven’t been blessed by God with steady finances and nice homes and cars and the skills and talents that we have just to use to better ourselves. We have been given our work ethic, our income, our homes and vehicles and tools and talents and intelligence to help others, to bring them up, to provide and nourish.
God didn’t put us here to be insular and stingy and only think of ourselves; these blessings bestowed upon us are for the betterment of everyone we know, everyone we are lucky to receive love and friendship from.
God gave us these gifts so that we could give, too; He wants us to show were are grateful by sharing our blessings.
Should those we help reject our friendship, rescind their love, turn their backs out of guilt or envy, because they can’t or won’t take their turn at giving… Then so be it. We know we were kind, loving, and generous. We know we gave, physically and emotionally. What others choose to do after that is on them. We will stand with open arms.
However, we will not stand here dumb. We will recognize the givers and takers, those who can and cannot reciprocate, those who are thankful… And those who are hateful. We will protect ourselves. But we will continue to love and give (just maybe not so much to those who have already burned us).
How I Wish to Grow
I want to be there, where the BHE is. I want to be that complete in my head and heart, so that I can look upon giving as a strength and not a weakness. I don’t want low expectations of those around me. I want to love and give. I also want to be loved and thanked.
I think back on all we’ve done for all of those around us. The BHE has remarked to me before that not all relationships are equal. Sometimes you are the giver to someone who just takes and takes and takes. Sometimes it is even, and no one involved even recognizes that because it comes so naturally to just be there and give and take equally without effort or concerns of equality. Sometimes you are the taker: Without even realizing it, you may take and take from another with no thanks or paltry reciprocation.
My goodness, it is so much easier to see the first two and not that last one. So I challenge you, reader, to look as objectively as possible at the main relationships in your life and see not how much you give but how much you take.
I am grateful for my health and intelligence, and that of my daughter and husband. I am grateful for the roof over my head, the clothes on my back, the food in my belly, and the love in my heart. I’m grateful for my husband’s steady employment that provides for us in plenty so we can care for ourselves and our loved ones. I’m grateful for my friends and family, the givers and the takers and the times we reciprocate. I am grateful.
But Struggling with the Hateful
I take the negative deeper than the BHE does. He takes the burns, applies salve, and carries on, without it effecting his general well-being or behavior. I scrape at the burns to keep them raw and I encourage them to fester and I most certainly allow these negative thoughts and feelings to change my general behavior.
The BHE sees opportunities to work, to put his considerable knowledge and his fit body to use for the betterment of our home, our family, your home, and your family. He stands in the sunshine with an open mind as well as an open heart. The BHE hopes to help.
I am bitter. I stand in a shadow with my arms over my chest. I tap my foot as I ask sarcastically if you need more money, how about a car, some roofing materials, someone to do the roofing, someone to thaw the pipes you allowed to freeze, maybe we can give you a whole roof, or, hell, a whole dammed house. I count the days since he said he’d return those supplies, the weeks she has refused to talk to us, the months since they said they would pay us back. I seethe over the fact that someone didn’t say thank you, didn’t pay up, didn’t keep in contact out of regret for not repaying us or out of guilt for having never planned to, didn’t return what they borrowed …
I gotta stop. The negative is taking root. I want to rip out that weed and sow something positive and productive. I want to plant beauty along our thoughtfully sought path.
Yeah, I’m the negative one. The BHE is the positive one. He keeps me grounded, he keeps me balanced, he keeps me out of my head when my head and heart want to explode for the pain of feeling used and thrown aside, he keeps me real and from being spiteful, he keeps me balanced, he keeps me grounded. He is the Best Husband Ever.
We may have been so blessed because we are here to give and provide… But I am so blessed by the man God gave me to love. I hope to change and be more worthy of this generous soul and the love he gives me.