I feel compelled to help people, often to my own detriment. I’m not sure if it’s a deep seated effect of being hated as a child and feeling a need to want to make people like me or if I’m just a sharing, caring person. I don’t think I want people to like me, I don’t really care if they don’t so I like to think I just like to give and even though that has been taken advantage of more times than I care to remember I can’t stop doing it. It’s an intrinsic part of who I am for whatever reason.
I did something today which was intended (unconsciously at the time) as a paying it forward act of kindness and charity which impacts on a life positively. Even though it has perhaps impacted on my life negatively on the surface, under the surface (the place I like to dwell) it’s done me some good and made me feel content so all is good.
A friend of mine who inadvertently witnessed the deed said “Don’t you worry that you were taken advantage of there?”.
“Do you think I was?” I asked.
“I don’t know, I hope not” she replied.
“That word… ‘hope’, that’s what makes me not worry about it” I replied.
I didn’t know why I said it, I wasn’t 100% sure what I meant, it just popped out (as we all know I tend to have much more of a problem with what gets popped INTO my mouth than what pops out of it but that’s another story). But it made me think and reflect and I realised something hugely important, one of those light bulb Gestaltist moments when it all suddenly becomes clear..
When we worry about the effects of our heartfelt good intentions they are not heartfelt good intentions, once the deed has been done and our compassion, humanity, charity, kindness, love or whatever it was, has been expressed we should content ourselves with the gift of having given, having done, having shared, having supported, having upheld, having cared, having loved… what the recipient of the gift does with it is not our concern. We have given. It has gone… all we have is hope is that it will do some good. Hope is our reward and hope keeps us giving. We’re not suckers, we’re hopers. Now I get why I can’t fight the compulsion… at last I get it and I feel years of that negative feeling of having been taken for a sucker washing away. How wonderfully liberating!