Sunday, January 16, 2011

Someone Can't Give What They Don't Have

I was listening to Joel Osteen this morning, I he said something that I found invaluable which I'd love to pass on to the rest of you guys.
"People can't give you what they don't already have."
The discussion today was about forgiving people who have wronged you so that you can free yourself. As always, it was promised that if you do your part, the Universe will pay you back double. I agree.

As I thought about past relationships, I've also thought of my times when I've proactively forgiven these ex-girlfriends. It is true, when I've done it genuinely, I've felt a huge weight lifted off of me - one that I didn't know I had. Unfortunately, I've also found myself going through periods where I've let myself feel anger towards them again, and these thoughts prevent the great things which are just around the corner, from entering my life (in the relationship department, that is).

But how easy is it to forgive? After listening to Joel today, I realized it is easier than many of us make it to be. Whatever relationship we were in before, ended for a reason whether good or bad. In a relationship while we may not enter it with any expectations, we eventually do develop some. How can you be in a solid relationship without having at least some minimal expectations, such as expecting your significant other to call you if they're running severely late, compliment you on something or the other, or even being there for you when you need a shoulder to lean on?

But I've learned that if you aren't receiving the things that you expect to get in a relationship, then it's not necessarily your fault so stop blaming yourself. People can't give what they don't already have. I interpret this to mean that someone typically won't treat you better or give you more than they give themselves. Yes, overly one sided relationships, and our Mothers are the exceptions. But think about it - if someone can't wake up on time to get to a job, if they're chronically late in everything they do, how can you expect them to be on time for you, when they can't be on time for themselves, or anyone else?

Here are some more examples, just so that we're clear. The person is overly frugal and doesn't even spend money on themselves, how can you get angry if they don't ever treat you to something nice every once in a while? The person is an emotional vault, refusing to ever cry, feel vulnerable, etc., how can you be surprised or upset when that person won't be emotionally available for you?

I'm sure you get it by now. I'm not suggesting you withhold yourself and who you are from your significant other. More importantly, just because you're boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife isn't as giving as you, that doesn't mean that you should change who you are and start giving or doing less. Be YOU. Those are the most important words you can ever bring to any relationship. As long as you drop expectations about what you think the other person should be, just focus on who you are and always give 100%. If the other person doesn't reciprocate, that's their loss. Your only job is to be you, and not expect the other to give you what they don't already have.


Lesley said...

Well said, and a good reminder to me at this point in my lifes journey. Thank you

virtual guru said...

I think that finding a path in life that both complements and challenges you is precious.


Lesley said...

I agree! I find the embracing the challenges is often the most rewarding part of the journey.

arina nikitina said...

I think forgiving is easy if it comes from the heart. The idea is to forgive, forget and move-on. I think what Joel Osteen is trying to say here is that, it is totally impossible for a genuine person to give you forgiveness with a begrudging heart. If they don’t have it within them, how can they ever give it to you?