I had this sneaking suspicion that the imbalance I was feeling in some of my relationships had nothing to do with us outgrowing each other.
Something else was up, and it had more to do with me.
I looked at all of the best relationships in my life, and realized those that were most fulfilling strike this natural balance of giving and receiving; where each of us had much to share with one and other and we did so effortlessly and with pleasure.
In every relationship where I was either the primary giver, or even receiver, things felt off. Even in my marriage, and with my immediate family, I’ve come to realize they do so much more for me than I for them, and it doesn’t feel right.
Maybe you’re on the opposite end of the spectrum, as is my friend who I was having this conversation with.
She’s always been the source of support for her parents. She listens to their problems and offers them advice. Sometimes, even money. And that feels off, too.
Try for a moment taking a deep inhale. Keep breathing in, taking more air…keep going until you can’t take it anymore. Now, try exhaling. Keep breathing out, giving air…keep going until you can’t take it anymore.
Nether one feels very good. In fact, they both feel like you’re losing your life. Dramatic, and oh so relevant.
You see, there’s a natural flow in life that when we don’t respect, we start to feel disconnected. Cut off at the source.
An uncalculated balance of giving and receiving in your relationships is necessary for the health of your connections, and of yourself.
We’re not meant to constantly give, and neither to constantly take. Just like inhaling and exhaling, our natural rhythm is to both give and receive.
So if you’re feeling like something is off with the relationships in your life, stop to take some inventory of how you’re being and showing up with these people.
Are you more on the giving end? If so, start to accept even the smallest gestures, offers and compliments from the people around you. Ask for help, assistance. Ask for a shoulder to lean on or an ear to hear you out.
If you’re more on the receiving end, make it an intention of yours every week to decide what you will do, give, share with the most important people in your circle. Ask how their lives are going; how you can be of service to them; what you can do to show them you care. Or simply start listening and taking cues. Could they use a helping hand running errands this weekend? Would they appreciate a nice meal? Take pleasure in supporting the people in your life in even the smallest ways.
Wherever you find yourself on either end of the spectrum, be more intentional to make your way somewhere in the middle.
Your relationships will be all the better for it. Your breathing will feel that much easier. And you will once again find yourself in flow.
Peace & love,