Beliefnet
The Bliss Blog

I have been a consummate caretaker, giver, goodie two shoes, apple polisher for as long as I can recall. Even as a little kid, I did things for others so I would be seen in a certain light. Wanting to be ‘loved best of all,’ I thought I could increase the odds that way. I was the first of two children. I don’t recall feeling jealous when my 2 1/2 year younger sister was born. My role, I was told, was to help with her care and teach her stuff. I never consciously felt I was being replaced or that my role in the family was being usurped.

When I turned four, my beloved grandmother died and shortly after, I was diagnosed with asthma. According to Louise Hay, issues around lungs have to do with repressed grief. I have no conscious recollection of mourning the death of the woman who felt like a third parent, who lavished me with love. One day, she was present and the next day she was gone. How does a child wrap her mind around that, even as I’m sure my parents did their best to both explain and comfort?

As a result, my little girl’s mind somehow figured out that if I kept everyone happy, then they might not leave. I don’t think I quite grasped the concept of death. This paradigm continued throughout my adulthood and has been fodder for recent conversation with friends. I have begun to shake off the fear of simply being as opposed to doing in order to earn brownie points with those in my life, so I could potentially cash in on them later. Feeling manipulative, wouldn’t it just be better to make my needs and desires known so that I wouldn’t feel as if I was ‘giving to get’?

The question arises:  Aren’t all relationships utilitarian since they serve a multitude of purposes that include love and companionship and the exchange that occurs between people? I grok that the more honest and straightforward we are about asking for what we want and offering whatever we do from a place of truly desiring to be of service, than the brownie points could turn into sweet treats.

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