You were raised to believe that you always get what you give. The world goes around, what you reap is what you sow, doing unto others as you would have them do unto you – you know these by heart.
They’ve been your life’s mantra. You’ve repeated them over and over, under your breath to cope with the world crumbling around you. Because the people you loved and gave everything to, chose to leave anyway.
That never stopped you though, did it? Because surely, there must be enough love in the world to eventually find its way back to you. In the meantime, you can go about doing what you do best: lending a hand, hearing someone out. You will do unto others as you will have them do unto you.
You embrace this belief, you live it.
You gave to the world.You gave to the people in your world. You gave, and you kept giving. Unabashed, unconditionally, you’ve given them everything you had to give. Sometimes, you’ve even foraged and gone on to find them the “something more” they wanted. You have been a phone call away, you have been the late night helpline, you have been the steady, ever-present shoulder.
And yet, when life has tested you, left you high and dry, and you’ve thought it wise to reach out to the ones who claim to love you, you’ve come up empty. When you’ve needed people, they have turned you down, and not always gently. You forgave them, you forgave the world. You forgave, but you could never shrug off the feeling that you were so very alone. That your generous spirit was of worth to everyone, except yourself. You trudged on anyway, not letting the menacing shadow of expectations ruin the innocent joy of giving.
But one day, you’d had enough. Something inside you snapped as it dawned on you that the flow of all that love, support, and encouragement was always going to be outwards. What if you were to run out? It has been a niggling feeling at the back of your head that you had tried to ignore, but here it was, in its overwhelming entirety.
It’s not up for debate, it is not a matter of perspective. You do give it your everything. You truly are someone who gives more than they get. You’ve been told you’re too nice. That you need to care less. That you need to hold all that love back lest someone should sneak in and steal all of it, leaving you stranded in the desolated landscape of your own being.
But I’m here to tell you, love, please don’t change.
Even though the world seems overwhelming, its people devoid of gratitude and its selfishness threatening to bruise your gentle spirit, please don’t change.
You are the handful of humanity we have left in the world anymore. You are the best of us.
But more than anything else, please don’t change because you haven’t yet found the ones who could possibly deserve your generous soul. The ones who could cherish the inconceivable rarity of the human being you are. The world tells us to take pride in being the best at what we do. So if giving to the world, to the people you love, is what you do best, then why should you deprive yourself of the joy, the pride, that’s in your share? Only because the world has been too blind to see it yet?
To be a giver is who you are. It is who you were always meant to be. If you weren’t, you would have given up a long time ago just like the rest of us . A couple of heartbreaks and we declare the whole cause a loss. But not you. Like a kid who jumps off his first ever roller coaster ride only to run right back into the queue, you say “again!”. You’ve been hurt, used and ignored, but your spirit still wants to give.
So let it.
They tell you that you need to keep your guard up, to not care or love to this or that degree, to not invest in people because there’s a good chance it might not prove profitable. You could give that way of life a chance. Of not bothering to love, to care, to check up on people and offer a hand even when they don’t ask for it. You could try being that person, sure. The rest of us, too afraid of having our hands bitten, spend our lives in that safe space of not giving a damn.
But you know, as well as I do, that your life is far too grand an adventure to be spent in that cave of apathy. You will meet new characters and you will reach out to invest in their stories. You will ride those dragons together, and maybe when the time comes, they will help you fight your battles. Maybe they won’t.
But you’re the helper, the healer, the one who saves the day. And even if they can’t be a part of your adventure, you will still have had one. So please, don’t change.