Life can be challenging. With so many people ready to disrespect us, rip us off, and generally take what we’ve earned, we often focus on where we are being shorted. But if we want to live a happy life, it’s time to focus on more giving, less getting.
An Angry Spouse
I don’t talk about it much, but I was married to a very angry woman. She would take out all her frustration and anger on me. She would belittle and dismiss me. She would treat me with disdain and rudeness to a terrible degree.
As much as I wanted a happy marriage, I found myself just struggling to set healthy boundaries. The name calling, sometimes even physical anger, and dismissal of anything I brought up as not worth her time left me reeling.
Instead of spending my time fostering a romantic, healthy, happy partnership. I found myself fighting to maintain my dignity. I spent way too much time letting what normally would have been important slights go and focused on fighting over grave injustices.
The more I was pushed around and mistreated, the more I fought to maintain the morsels of dignity and personal self-esteem that left me starving for more. A few years of this destructive relationship left me leery of others, walled in for safety, and focused too heavily on how much the people in my life were contributing to my well being.
Now I realize I need to focus on more giving, less getting.
A World in Need
The problem is we’re all in need. Most of us are shortchanged. Most of us have been taken advantage of. Too many of us are under appreciated, underpaid, and undervalued.
We’re constantly trying to prove our worth and place our demands. We deserve to be treated a certain way, right?
Absolutely! We do! But is making these demands on others going to accomplish it? Or, more accurately, will it make us happy?
As we all sit here starving from emotional malnutrition, instead of fighting for our fill, maybe we should focus on feeding others. Maybe it’s time for more giving, less getting. After all, if we’re all fighting over the same bowl of self-esteem, we’re getting nowhere, but if we start feeding others, suddenly someone is becoming healthy and strong. Then they can help others become healthy and strong.
We have to remember that everyone is doing the best with the tools they have. Maybe the way to improve the world isn’t to fight to get what we’re owed, but to help others get what they need. Sharing happiness is a choice, and maybe it’s time for more giving, less getting. We don’t have to be perfect, just better. Today is a great day for us to focus on just that.