We all want to be nurtured. We all crave that caring sense of love me, pick me, have my back support. I’ve seen how trouble comes though, when we also expect that nurturing to be presented as we understand it. Because we are all unique representations of beings with unique expressions in need and gifts, it can be difficult to have those expectations met by others with equal fervor.
People who have already learned how to work around this, need not read further. For we average folk still treading through the minefields, I luckily have found Donna, a good friend who puts this expectation to bed with a much simpler approach. I think she’s onto something.
Troubles begin with a line of thought that goes something like this: If they really loved me, they would know what I want or need, and they would do everything they could to provide it!
I have seen this thought put to action in varying ways; the girl who is angry that her mother didn’t buy a Christmas present that met her interests (guilty), the girlfriend deeply disappointed in her boyfriend’s missed idea of what is a great Valentine’s Day plan (guilty again), the wife who is sad and furious that her husband still doesn’t know her after all these years (divorced, so yeah, kind of guilty).
In each of these cases, the result could have been quite different if one simple effort had been practised – talking with the object of those disappointments, (the person, not the gifts). I stress could have, I make no guarantees of would have success for reasons upcoming.
For example, I cannot believe how long it took me to realize that all of my loved ones – family & friends – were not psychics! I don’t claim to have had much of a well-adjusted background to begin with, so I had to learn that I had unfair expectations that they should be able to just know what would make me happy. Not just for gifts, but for when I was feeling low for whatever reason. Hey, they do it that way on TV all the time! To back-up that notion, I bolstered it with the fact that they were around me enough to know what I pointed out in varying degrees of hints and comment on what I liked, enjoyed, found beautiful, etc., etc., etc. They even sometimes acknowledged that they heard those comments. But, did they?
The thing is, I didn’t take into account that maybe they were having thoughts of their own at the same time. Maybe they were tuned into what was needed at work, or what they should have for dinner. Maybe they really couldn’t see the beauty in what I was pointing out. The what really doesn’t matter, the point is there has to be allowance for the fact that no two minds are on the same page all of the time. Maybe they are even more different than the same most of the time. Ugh, the heartache!
Much like most things in life, we need to simplify this meeting of the minds process as much as possible and/or the ways we can live with them.
For me, this starts with exercising a page from my own belief system in which I declare that I am (already) fully loved, nurtured and supported by the Universe. I believe something like this is a foundation for what is to follow in actual demonstration. Whatever you choose to do or say as a foundation is up to you, but as all guidelines have said since the beginning of therapies, it starts with what you believe.
We can’t be who we are not, and we cannot demand that someone else change to suit our needs. Change is a gift that we choose to give, it cannot be taken. I can guarantee that it will crumble if demanded. If you want to give the gift of changing something about yourself, then give it gladly, not in resentment. If a relationship, of any nature, doesn’t work out, it’s not a failure. I repeat, not a failure. It was what it was, and another course in life knowledge is under your belt. The grade you get depends only on how you apply what you’ve learned to the next one.
So it comes back to us. Starting to see the pattern here? It’s about us being more gentle with our friends, family and lovers. How? Dare I say it? By lowering our expectations, and letting go of any ‘what can I get out of this relationship’ thoughts. Instead of demanding superhuman relating abilities, how about expecting only what is absolutely and honestly vital to our sense of nurturing, (i.e. respect, honesty, integrity)?
Taking into account that basic compatibility needs are met, & that you actually like the person, what is really necessary beyond someone simply wanting to give you their love and their best, as they know it?
My friend genuinely lives this way and she has a list of genuine friends longer than the new pope frontrunners did. She and her man work to provide what is needed, but their true treasure is every moment of family time they share. No need of fulfillment from the biggest toys life can offer. She is married 20 years and counting; she couldn’t be more cherished or in love with her man, & family and vice-versa. I‘d trade the most extravagantly planned Valentine’s evenings for that.
Think about it, we can gratefully accept nurturing in the way our loved ones can give it, and in return, we can gracefully fill in any blank needs of our own by ourselves. Why couldn’t it be that simple, and why wouldn’t we want to, at least try to, practise it a little?
If someone is giving their love, then thank you Universe because really, how many of us have an over-abundance of people lining up to do that?
(Um, quick note here to my loved ones: you’re still going to remember my birthday & Christmas, right?)