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March 26

   When my SO does something nice for me that I didn't expect, do I feel an obligation to give them something equal in return? If I do, it's likely that I also have a hidden wish to have my acts of kindness returned in similar ways.
   If I do something for my partner with such expectations, then I'm not truly giving them love - I'm bartering with them. Sometimes it's hard to know for sure, but one of the surest tests I can use is whether I feel disappointed if the favor isn't returned.
   Likewise, if I feel obligated to do or give them something in return, I may actually do more harm than good. I deprive myself of the full enjoyment of their gift, because my thoughts focus so quickly on what I can do back for them. I become anxious when I can't seem to think of something appropriate. In the end, I may even slightly resent the fact that they put me in such a position.
   Why do I think a "thank you" is not enough? In simply giving my SO my gratitude, I give them the recognition that their gift was truly loving, with no strings attached. And it's hard for things to get tangled, when there are no strings.

Just for Today
   Today if my SO does something for me out of kindness, I'll accept it in the spirit it was given, and won't turn it into a debt I feel obligated to repay. By giving them my gratitude freely, I'll increase the joy that their gift has given both of us.

The best way to repay a free gift is with gratitude.


@Copyright Bernd Hansen - Contents may be downloaded or copied for personal non-commercial use.