Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Where Do You Draw The Line?

'Treat others as you would like to be treated, 'unconditionally'. Sounds good doesn't it? But lets get real. 'Unconditional' doesn't exist. There are always conditions. There are always expectations whether large or small. When we do a favor for someone, there is a small expectation that that person will, if needed, do a favor for you someday. When we donate money to a charity, there is an expectation that the money will be allocated properly within the respective charity. We elect politicians that lead us, select the universities that will teach us, look to the ministers (for those who attend religious organizations) that will guide us, all with the expectation that they will provide us the with the voice, tools, and support that we need to enrich our lives.

We do things in hopes of reaping some sort of reward. Even if the reward is an emotional one. When you help out a friend, neighbor, loved one, or even a stranger, whether you realize it or not, a small part of you likes or even needs that 'feel good' feeling you get in return.

There are even expectations when it comes to love. It may make us feel good to say to someone or to hear from someone "I love you 'unconditionally'". But, is there really love that is 'unconditional'?

When we love someone, there is an expectation, or at minimum a hope, that that person or persons will love us back. We try to accept their flaws expecting that if we accept theirs they will accept ours. When we have someones back, we expect them to have ours as well.

Love generally includes loyalty, emotional support, sometimes physical and/or financial support, respect, honesty, etc. We, or at least I, would like the above reciprocated.

But what do you do when your 'love' actions are greater than the actions of the other person? In other words what do you do when you do something for someone that you know they would never do for you? You provide emotional support on a level that you know would never and has never be returned. You give respect on a level that you don't get in return.

Where do you draw the line? Or do you draw a line to begin with?

If we are all honest with ourselves, we know that there are times when, before we offer a part of ourselves to another whether it be support, honesty, respect, etc. we ask ourselves 'would this person do this for me?'.

For those people who never have that though, I commend you. I don't think I necessarily believe you, but I commend you either way.

As for myself, there has been times when I have gone so far beyond what I get in return, that I do ask myself  ' Where do I draw the line? Where does it stop? Where do I stop? Do I stop?'

I do believe that everyone needs someone. I do believe that we have to give love to receive love. It is the level of our love that, I think, can sometimes be unbalanced. That lack of balance, for me, often times causes within me resentment. An imbalance that makes me question why I do what I know would not be done for me?

I know that that thought may not be fair, or acceptable, or the popular way to think, but I'm only human! I want to feel covered with the same blanket of love that I cover others with. Of course, I understand I am not 'entitled' but I feel like it is 'deserved'.

Am I wrong? Do I expect too much?

So, I ask YOU, where do YOU draw the line?


  1. You pose a very interesting question, Valerie. I must also add that I too have recently began feeling the sting of familiarity with what you have written here. For me it is a double-edged sword, the drawing of this "line". For as much as it protects me, so does it stifle me, and if I am not free to love openly, I am simply not free. Love is a huge risk, and has caused me more pain that loathing ever could, but I'm still all in, all the time. Best, T.

  2. I appreciate your comment very much. Thank you!


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