“Between what is said and not meant, and what is meant and not said, most of love is lost.” Khalil Gibran
How underrated kindness is. It feels like we expect others to place us first on their agendas but we never reciprocate. Yes we are thinking, I am good to others all the time but truthfully, how quickly we forget about what others do for us. We do recall when someone lets us down. The pain hurts and the emotional scars we endure are sometimes of our own making.
Like many others, I expect my family and friends to recognize and know when I am over my head and require their help. I don’t of course, mention my needs. I assume they should be aware of my desires. This rarely happens. I am let down and quite annoyed with them. After all, I believe, I am thoughtful regarding their plights, and I pay attention to what they want and crave. How come they can’t do the same for me?
Perhaps this rings a chord with many of us. There are those times we need help but don’t ask for it. There are other times when emotionally we require support, but very little comes forward. Why does this occur we ask ourselves as we nurse our wounds. Of course we might retaliate by alienating this person who is actually oblivious to the duress we are under.
I think we are so busy scheduling and nurturing our own lives that we forget to notice what is going on in another person’s life. We are not unkind, disloyal, heartless or without concern. We are simply too busy dealing with our own problems. I am not saying this is the right thing to do, but we are not thinking deeply about it. I endeavor to say that most of us at times, rarely think deeply about anything, because we just don’t have the time or energy.
Stress is a killer in more ways than one. Perhaps when we are on overload, everything appears to be a tremendous task for us. Even the simple job that requires very little time, can become the insurmountable job that breaks our spirit. Somehow we have learned how to be hard workers but we haven’t learned how to take the time out to chill. That appears to be too easy but actually, how many of us even know how to relax.
Our response might be that we take a vacation. Now we spend seven to fourteen days relaxing, and the rest of the year we are in fast drive. I honestly think that in my case, that has some effect in my overlooking the quiet call to notice another’s cry of despair. We wonder how so many people slip through the cracks in one way or another. Perhaps by the time we notice, they are traveling down the fast lane, and are ready to collapse.
I don’t say any of this is our fault. I do believe that we could likely be in the same position as our now, off track friend. We all have different breaking points. It is hard to say at what stage, we can’t bend anymore. Seeking and observing what fork in the road we go off track is useless. It isn’t planned but when we review an event, it is so easy to see the mistakes that were made. Perhaps we all should get out of the fast lane. It leads to nowhere.
We are expected to be strong, to make a good living, to protect the family, to help the family and neighbors, to be the thoughtful spouse, and to be willing to share whatever time is left over, with others in our community. How often do we receive mailings to give money or time to others. Of course once we start giving we are bombarded with more and more. The guilt jumps in and we are left with choosing the most sincere mailing with the saddest displayed picture. We run and promote causes but sometimes are left with little comfort and we ask ourselves are we doing enough? We all want to give but our distrust of the managers running the cries for relief funds overshadows our heartstrings.
Likely the numerous causes are beyond the human touch and although I would recommend supporting such causes, we still must watch that we don’t deplete our own physical mental and emotional energy. We can stretch ourselves beyond the limit. Perhaps those people who are willing to give, can become the hardest hit emotionally, when they leave little time for themselves and their own immediate families. Work takes a huge chunk of our time.
Each spouse who is on overload, contributes to the end result of bickering, fighting and alienating each other. Maybe with a small amount of “me” time and together time, things will work out. Breaking our own sense of balance, for the sake of going overboard for others in demand, is not necessarily a good thing. We are left with more people, including us, who desire attention. It really is okay to take a break. We all need it. Just because some of us are blessed with more material items and more supportive people does not mean we don’t crave some down time. We will break as easily as the frailest in society.
On an airline, they tell you to put your mask on first, then your child’s. This makes sense. If you are struggling to breathe, you won’t be able to place the air mask on your child, if your air mask is not applied first. The same is true for your mental, emotional and physical body. If you don’t take some time out for you, then you will be of little support to others.
When we have had enough we melt down. Then we wonder, why those closest to us haven’t taken account of our predicament. The trouble is that so many of us compensate, for such a long period of time, as well as keep the pain inside while hurting silently. That makes it difficult to notice someone’s hardships. Immediately condemning others for their lack of kindness is a mistake. At those low moments all we can think about is what others have done wrong. We forget about how many times previously, they might have come to our rescue.
Focusing only on the slights, gives no room for the many kindnesses extended to us over the years. All we readily remember is the disregard we received. How sad is our focusing and recollection. Now we make another enemy of someone who used to be our friend or close relative. I always wonder at our lack for remembering the good, and our ability to readily recall the bad.
It appears to me that it is so important to take a break when needed and to ask outwardly for aid when support is required. Playing the “waiting game,” or the “they should notice me game,” always seems to backfire. Even in marriages, when partners don’t readily state their feelings or ideas to each other without prompts, they are not given attention. Then what follows is anger at the partner, for not noticing their plight. Many of us do have a problem stating what we want or what is bothering us. Perhaps we are too independent.
I highly recommend helping others as much as we have the ability to afford to do in money, time and effort. I also highly recommend that we take numerous breaks for ourselves, so that we are not found in a similar position as those we are attempting to help. It is not weakness to accept help. Emotionally, physically and spiritually it happens to all of us. The reasons are numerous. Whatever succeeds in shedding light on our basic requests is irrelevant. What is vitally important is that we recognize what we need, and we ask for it. In doing so we can breathe a sigh of relief for our genuine reprieve. The future will allot more opportunities to help others.
I don’t think God ever wanted us to wear ourselves out. He expects us to nurture ourselves along with others. We are not supposed to build others up at the cost of tearing ourselves down. No one wins and we resent those we attempted to support. Toss guilt aside and remember there are times in our lives when we have more problems and less time to give. There are other days when we have less problems, and more time to offer to others. Take notice of where you are at, and take charge of your life by asking and accepting help when needed. Reciprocate when you are asked in return. In that way everyone comes out a winner.
“And since the Law of Reciprocity is strong there is another upside. People will feel like giving back to you. And so the two – or more – of you keep building an upward spiral of positivity and happiness.” Seneca
“Life’s like a play: it’s not the length, but the excellence of the acting that matters. Most powerful is he who has himself in his own power. Wisdom allows nothing to be good that will not be so forever; no man to be happy but he that needs no other happiness than what he has within himself; no man to be great or powerful that is not master of himself.” Seneca
“God said, “Love your enemy.” “And I obeyed him and loved myself.” Kahlil Gibran
“You have been told that, even like a chain, you are as weak as your weakest link. This is but half the truth. You are also as strong as your strongest link. To measure you by your smallest deed is to reckon the power of ocean by the frailty of its foam. To judge you by your failures is to cast blame upon the seasons for their inconstancy.” ~ Kahlil Gibran