There is an old saying, “You get more of what you give to others.”
Relationships work best when they are balanced, just like anything else in life really. Think of plants or the tire pressure in your car tires, or sustainability in the environment. When life is out of balance, it does not work very well and nobody is happy.
Not only do relationships do better when balanced, but people’s lives are better when balanced too. We need “Work-Life” balance or learn to balance the responsibilities of work with life's responsibilities (and joys). We need to balance what we want, with what we need (and have). We need to balance looking after ourselves with looking after others. Life demands balance.
Gratitude is but a single value in a long line of values that
we should practice in relationships.
People often say respect and honesty but there are other values like consideration, compassion, understanding, forgiveness, acceptance, empathy, appreciation and of course gratitude. These values need to be reciprocated from both individuals across the relationship so that everybody feels happy. And when these are reciprocated across the relationship, people feel happy, their self-esteem goes up, self-confidence increases, communication goes up, love, sex, and intimacy all increase, and the environment is stable.
However, in the same way that life demands balance, what happens when this becomes lopsided? Beware of Mepathy.
"Mepathy" is a new word I decided to coin. Essentially this, or someone puts themself in the centre of the universe, and expects all of the compassion, sympathy, understanding, consideration, and of course, empathy to flow towards that person without anything in return. So, they essentially become an emotional blackhole in the vacuum of space. And just like a blackhole, there is never anything you can do to fill it up - it is bottomless!!!
As we said on the farm, “Before a diagnosis of depression, make sure you’re not hanging out with a bunch of Assholes.” Well, if you feel constantly emotionally drained, questioning yourself, and your self-confidence is at an all-time low, perhaps look for Mepathy in the people around you.
Come heal, grow and create together
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