Thursday, August 7, 2008
Sometimes when I do obscure or even normal words, I like to google the word plus the word photo and see what comes up. This was one of the photos. Have you ever read The Giving Tree? If not, you should. It actually is a good intro to this post because of the controversy surrounding the book's message.
Giving seems like it should be a simple thing but it can get so complicated. That's the nature of us humans - to complicate things.
Ask and you shall receive. Not always, but you may. How can my husband be upset that 6 people helped me the first day I owned the house while he's painting by himself in his kitchen? If you don't ask for help, not everyone knows you need it or want it. If he wants to create a world in which he thinks he has no friends, well so be it. It would make me incredibly sad if he did, and I constantly say that he DOES have friends, but it's no longer my job to help organize his life. Never should have been, but I took it on.
Why do some people get upset if you don't accept the level of help they want to give? In some cases, like my ex boyfriend of long ago, I felt it was a form of control. I do this for you and you are indebted to me. Or at least there's a stronger bond that will make it difficult for you to leave. But is this always the case? Or are some people so dependent on helping others in order to make themselves feel better, to the detriment of themselves sometimes? Or is it just how they were raised and has nothing to do with a self esteem issue? I asked my door friend guy yesterday to help me go get my cell phone charger from where I used to live in the 'hood, and he was happy that I asked and happy to help. But then gets upset when I say no thank you to giving me lunch. Reactions like that make me so mad. Why? Partly because I feel it disrespects me - I'm an adult and can say no thank you. But perhaps there's a better response?
I have received so much help in the past few months that I know likely I can never 'repay' it. Some friends recently began asking me over for dinner with no expectation of bringing anything - just eat and go work on the house. Another friend who works his ass off during the day came last night and did my plumbing for the washer and utility sink. As someone said to me one time, sometimes you just have to accept kindness from others. And I've learned to accept it, but I will never take it for granted. If I do, shoot me.