After my three birthday celebrations last week, I ended up learning something wise that I’d like to share with you.
First of all, what I see around me is people complaining about what others have done or not them for them. I have a girlfriend who always complains about how her husband does not bring gifts to her and spoil her. I have another friend who always expects something back when he offers help to someone…
The examples are countless, which leaves me thinking about what makes us ‘unhappy’.
Usually when we’re unhappy, it conveys a feeling that what we expected didn’t happen. In other words, when we expect a gesture, a present, a feeling that we don’t t receive, we become unhappy.
The question is why do we expect anything to begin with?
I think we expect things because when we offer help, help or do a favor to someone, we do it with a premeditated goal (receive something back in the future). We rarely do something out of generosity, love, etc. Mothers are a good example. When they feed, diaper, play with their babies/ children, they certainly not expect anything tangible in return. We call that an ‘unconditional love’. A mother who does not receive the same amount of attention and affection from her child will continue to love him/her, no matter what.
My point is landing a hand is firstly good for us, for our soul and presence on this planet. It gives us more sense of life. It makes us feel special and needed.
When we make dinner or help a friend move, expecting a ‘thank you’ or a restaurant invitation ruins all the magic of life. If the other person didn’t do anything, you’ll start looking at her in a different eye and maybe start avoiding her etc. Expectations create frustration, stress and disappointment.
Of course, you don’t want to be used but that expectation does not help either. Why expect when you can live life and be truly surprised and pleased.
So for me, on my birthday, expecting nothing from my family members was the best thing I could do. Every single thing I have received on my birthday was an amazing surprise and celebration. I didn’t expect a birthday cake, a card, a present or all the attention and love. And I got all of them and felt happy receiving them. It was definitely not their ‘duty’ to do so that’s why I appreciated the gesture and the surprise.
It’s challenging but I will try to apply the learnings and benefits of this lesson on the rest of aspects of my life.
And you, do you always expect things back when you give a hand?