I wanted to share an email that someone sent me. (At work of all places!) I am the person who has trouble with "boundaries", and have spent my life trying to please others. I am now working on me. Anyway, I really liked it and wanted to share.
When somebody you care deeply about requests a loving response, you may be
tempted to come up with many reasons why you can't, don't want to, or shouldn't
involve yourself. Maybe you think they deserve your anger more than your love
because of something they did.
Most of the reasons to withhold love are based on the fearful voice in you
mind that keeps score. "Let's see, I have done nice things for you, now you
have to do something for me." This type of giving is nothing more than a
business transaction. True giving is not a tidy business transaction where you
give with the expectation of something in return from the person.
The ego's law is: When you do something for someone else, be sure you get
something back. If you don't, stop giving.
I am not suggesting that you should never say no. Certainly, having good
boundaries is important. However, fear of giving is an epidemic in our
culture. Generally, people are too focused on what they are going to get from
life, rather than what they can give. The result of focusing on "getting" is
depression - someone always has more or better, anger - I am not lucky, and
So here is a simple exercise for you and me: in order to experience how
giving and receiving are the same, for one week stop focusing on "getting".
Stop making sure that you get your share back. Stop worrying about what you
will miss or lose if you give freely. For one week respond to everything with
a giving attitude. Give some of your time. Offer acceptance and
understanding. Listen to people, specially to children and the elderly. This
will teach us that giving and receiving are the same.
So on this holiday, remember: Unconditional love wants to give itself
freely. Fear based giving always wants a return on investment.
May everyone have a wonderful and blessed Holiday.