The Hawk-Mo Hotwire

Micro Entrepreneurism, Simple Living & Art

Do you really want to?

Because there is a huge difference between genuinely wanting to do something and feeling like you have to, or you should.

In the midst of a recent discussion, I got stuck on a tangent about what I now am calling “relationships of obligation.” These can be friend, business, romantic, or otherwise. I think the concept I’m talking about can be best explained with an example:

I like to send mail. Actually, I’m going to go ahead and say that I love to send mail. I smile creating it, I delight in giving it to the postman, I get all anxious and excited waiting for it to get to the recipient, and I get giddy thinking about the smile on the other person’s face when they get it. The whole process makes me happy. I send mail to people, some that I know really well, and some that I really don’t, but I send it to them, because I want to. I don’t send mail because I want or expect them to send me something back. It is not mail with strings attached. And yet sometimes I do get mail back, awesome mail, quirky mail, mail sent just for the hell of sending it.

This mail sending is free, no obligations. It is truly a gift.

Sometimes my gift gets misunderstood. Instead of being received as a gift, it is received as an obligation. Now the other person must give me something back. And they want to, but only so that they don’t feel guilty later. I think this happens when there is an imbalance in the relationship, either in the actual dynamics of the relationship (there is a feeling of inequality) or in the mindset of the other person (they are not in a place where they could give a free gift, and therefore cannot understand when one is being given to them).

I have relationships of obligation and I have ones that are not and then I have ones that have transitioned from one to the other, in both directions. Sometimes I know that I have been the person out of balance, imposing the sense of obligation.

I’ve been trying to understand the root of this and I think it comes down to self love. If I am full of love, I can’t help but want to share it with other people, and not because I need theirs, for I have enough all on my own. Also, I am open to receiving gifts because I’m not worried about not being worthy of them. But when the self love is running low, gifts start to feel like obligations. I can’t imagine why someone else would want to give me anything, because I don’t know what I offer them in return. And this is when gifts given have strings attached because I need things in return. Its a cycle, but a breakable one. The first step, as per usual, is just recognizing that you do it.


About mudly

Mud is main blog writer extraordinaire, picture guru, and the garden and adventure instigator. She loves to cook, but doesn’t much like following a recipe. She also loves typewriters, the color turquoise, and wearing tie dye with stripes. And she dorks out on while dreaming up and planning her next garden.

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This entry was posted on April 6, 2010 by in Everything All in One Place and tagged , .

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