Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Is It Really a Duck?

                    
              Your assumptions are the windows on your world. Scrub them off every once in a while, 
                                           or the light won't come in.  Isaac Asimov

Much in life is assumed, labeled, taken for granted. We expect to get what we need from our family, friends, acquaintances, co-workers, anyone in our life. You're there for them, so you assume the same from them when you need something. That may be true. They love you. They're there for you. But if you knock on the wrong door, you'll come away disappointed and hurt. Sometimes what appears to be a duck is not a duck. It's a different critter, and you never realized the difference.

Example: Some years ago, I was struggling with a stressful situation in my life, and I felt overwhelmed, alone and emotionally drained. I needed someone to just listen to my feelings and be understanding and compassionate, someone to help me feel that I'd be okay. I went to two friends and expressed the fear and emotional pain I was going through, told them my situation and how I was feeling. One responded by telling me what to do, and the other told me his problems. I already knew what to do, and I couldn't handle someone else's problems at that time. They listened to my words, but they didn't hear me. I'd cried out for help, and they didn't hear my need. Now I really felt alone.

After this incident, I went to my Minister, and she helped me understand my disappointing encounter. She said we all have our own gift, but no one has all gifts. There are listeners, fixers, advisers, advocates, mediators, care-givers, nurturers, humorous one, and the list goes on. So instead of assuming, we need to acknowledge the other person's gift and not expect what they can't give. And love them anyway. I thought about my two friends, and I realized they gave me what they had to give, and they loved me in their way.

This enlightenment taught me a new way to relate to the people in my life, and I became aware of my own gift. I have two friends who live in other states and one who lives near me. These are the only ones I go to when I need understanding, hope, and compassion. We're there for each other on emotional support issues. Other people in my life provide help in different ways. And I provide my gift where I can. Now this way of relating is a blessing.

There's a saying, "You can't get bread from a hardware store". And if you keep going to hardware stores for your bread, it's like chewing the same food over and over and getting heartburn every time. Take a second look at the people in your life, learn what gift each has to give, and don't expect more. Then go only where your need will be met, and share your gift with them. That's unconditional love, and it will create more loving relationships.

I wish you many blessings in your unconditional relationships.

Marilyn