Reciprocity – it can be a lovely word, but may also have a sting in the tail.
And that will depend on your expectation. If you do something expecting a certain response, you may well be setting yourself up for a disappointment.
It is an aspect of unconditional love. Just for today, have in your mind that whatever you do, you do because you want to, expect nothing in return. For example, if you let someone out into the traffic, do not expect a thank you. If you let someone get their coffee before you, don't expect a positive response. Do it because you want to.
There is one key piece of knowledge which can make this much easier and that is knowing your purpose on this planet! Do you know yours? I find that many people do not and worse, feel that they are not in some way ‘worthy’ of having a purpose!
Time for a short story and one that provided me with a lasting impression, so much so that some fifty years later I still feel it is worth sharing.
I was providing some training in a large, multi-national corporate headquarters and needed to visit the ladies room. That long ago wash rooms were very basic and so I was really surprised when I walked in and saw fresh flowers and was greeted by a pleasant aroma! I looked about to see if there was an attendant, but no. Later I was introduced to the lady who was in charge and asked her about her work, ‘You all work very hard, and I wanted to create a special place where you could relax and feel cared for, even if for just a few moments.’ She went on to tell me that she managed to pick some flowers or leaves and made up a pot-pourri, when I offered her a tip to buy something, she declined asking that any money go to buy a child a book. After a while, she was given a budget by management for her supplies. Here she was, a job that could easily not be classed as glamorous and yet allowing her to act out her passion of life in caring for people – she had a purpose and she acted on it and she not only made those people feel better, but also has inspired others around the world to have a purpose and to act on it – every day.
When you have identified your purpose, it creates a context for everything else you do and are. Every waking moment is shaped by it. Your usual content, the stuff you must do is still there, however from attending a meeting to washing the dishes you have a higher sense of responsibility and giving and satisfaction.
Having a life purpose sounds very big and serious and in one sense it is, but play with trying one on if you don’t yet have one. And it doesn’t need to sound pompous and world shattering! Being the best Dad possible; remaining as calm as you can; appreciating nature or sharing joy. My life purpose is to share joy and so as much as I can, all activities have that as the backdrop. One thing I decided to do years ago was to put a smiley face in my signature, and this I do (yes, even on my cheques to the tax man!) The number of busy sales people who have gone from being disengaged to suddenly looking up and smiling at me and making a positive comment is amazing. And it doesn’t stop there, that sales person may be nicer to the next customer, who may be nicer to a fellow worker who may be…
A simple act can have profound affect.
Further it helps to ‘de-personalise it’ and by that I mean, if someone does not respond, I do not take it personally, who knows, it may register later, but I know that I have lived up to my life purpose and that is all I can be responsible for. Reciprocity – I give and I get the satisfaction of so doing.
Your Realistically Positive Warrior
The Holistic Life Coach
Holistic & Natural Solutions for Health and Wellbeing