It’s that kind of day. The kind that makes you want to slap your palm on your forehead. The kind that makes you think, “How could I have fallen for that… again?” The kind that magnifies the volume of that incessant chant in your ear that goes, “Silly, silly you. Silly, silly you. Silly, silly you.”
I keep saying Yes when I should say No. I keep giving in when I shouldn’t. I keep giving my all when I’ve had that gift handed back in my face without a backward glance.
It’s that kind of moment. When you know you shouldn’t have. When you tell yourself, “We’ve been down this alley before; what were you thinking?” When you know that you’ve been taken for a ride yet again, but have no one to blame but yourself for getting into that rocking boat with your own two feet.
I wonder why I bother. I wonder why, even with a history of the absence of gratitude, I set aside perfectly legitimate reasons for not helping out and yet again expend time, effort and sacrifice to do “just this one last favor, please?” I wonder where I can buy the courage to just put two letters together to form one word: N. O.
It’s that kind of sudden realization. The dawn of insight tearing its way through the hazy gloom. The emergence of sunlight pushing its rays through thinning grey clouds. The relief of that first gulp of breath after having flailed under water for a minute more than you thought you would.
I realize it’s okay. That it’s never a mistake to keep giving, even when it seems your gift isn’t valued. That you may feel like a real schmuck and a total dodo for doing a perfect imitation of a doormat, but at the end of the day, you are better for having given than for not having given at all. And that what has been often said before is really true: what doesn’t break you will only make you stronger.
It’s that kind of freedom. The kind that makes you lift your chin up and break out the biggest smile you can muster. The kind that brings back the bounce in your step. The kind that brings you quiet comfort in the knowledge that you aren’t less for having given more.
Oh yes. No. You aren’t less for having given more.
I must confess to vacillating quite a bit before hitting the Publish button on this post, because this is a far cry from usual posts that I make. I am (and take pride in being) a voraciously cheerful person, always ready to spread sunshine and hugs and feel-good vibes wherever I go. This post isn’t that kind of sunshine-y usual post. But it’s where I am right now, right where the Just Write challenge HERE has found me. And I figured, hey, real life doesn’t get more real than this: there are a kajillion ups in my life and I am grateful for all of them, but yes, I do have some downs too (thank heavens, not too many of those) – and I am just as grateful for them. Because, really, without the black, where can one get perspective for seeing the white? Right?
So here’s today’s version of Real Life, my friends. I hope it sits well with you, even if it isn’t the “usual serving” on my blog plate.
To find out more about Just Write, which is a fabulous way to get your thoughts written out in the right here and right now, go visit The Extraordinary Ordinary here.