I’ve had a couple conversations lately concerning the idea of being selfless. It’s one of those lessons that I think everyone is called to learn. The problem that I’m having, and the reason I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately is that sometimes I go too far with being self-sacrificial. How do you draw the line? It’s obviously much easier to be selfless when it comes to the people that you love. And I’ll be the first to admit that I need to work on it more with the people that I don’t love. That just doesn’t happen as naturally.
My problem is knowing when to say when or even moreso how to be ok with someone else sacrificing for me. It’s much more natural for me to know that I’m the one being put out, and because I love this person, it’s ok with me. And for the most part in my relationships, I don’t feel like I’m walked over because of that sacrifice. I know there are times that it frustrates me because of the trend I’ve created. Because I’m the one who usually goes out of my way, it becomes the norm as opposed to my turn/your turn. I guess all of that goes back to being ok with people being selfless for me. I apparently don’t accept that very well even in the relationships of the people that love me the most. I fall on the side of not even admitting sometimes when I need something because I don’t want to put the other person “out” which is unfair, but not easy to change.
I know how I feel when I’m able to sacrifice something I wanted, or something for me to do something for someone I love. It's a really good feeling and because I’m glad that I can do that, I find myself doing it more and more and never giving the other person(s) the opportunity to do so. How do I stop that trend though? I have a friend who I’ve known a long time, and I realized lately that the only way they know anything going on in my life is for me to provide all the information. We talk a couple times a week and while I know everything going on with them, when it comes to the serious stuff with me, they know very little. Unless I provide it. I’ll take the blame on that because our relationship is one where I always offered everything that’s going on with me. And it’s not that I don’t want to still give that information. It’s just that when juxtaposed with the relationships of the people in my life who DO ask what’s going on with me, I found that those relationships were so much more rewarding. It’s not that I don’t think this person loves me. I know they do. It’s just that I’ve created a trend where I’m the one to always offer. It worries me that this person doesn’t even notice that I’ve stopped offering. And I’d like to say that it’s made a difference on the questions they’re asking about my life. But it hasn’t. Instead I think we talk a little less, and I rely a lot less on being able to tell them the things that are important in my life.
I think I fear that result in my other relationships. I fear that if I don’t sacrifice enough or offer enough of myself, whenever possible even to the extreme, that the relationship will end up being a lot more shallow than I originally thought. So where’s the balance? I don’t know, and what bothers me is I’m not sure how to figure it out. I just know I need to. I've started realizing that I'm damaging otherwise healthy relationships by not letting them serve me too.