Tuesday, November 13, 2012


I think one of the things that is very underrated in our "I deserve to be happy" society is the value of the things we do, big and small, to accommodate the people we love.  I don't think we need to cater to the every whim of our loved ones and its perfectly OK to sometimes say, "Nope, I really don't want to do that", but I think we way under value being flexible and accommodating.

There are a lot of things that my husband likes and enjoys that aren't really high on my list of interests, but I take an interest in them and give my full attention to them, not to convince myself or him that I love those things, but to show that I love him.  He is excited about those things and wants to share them with someone, so I make myself available to be that someone.  Or my kids--heaven knows my kids find all sorts of things fascinating or entertaining that I find annoying or impossibly boring, but I put on a smile and try to enjoy them because its important to them.  Keilana is old enough and perceptive enough that she knows there are some things that I pay attention to or indulge only because I care about her, and in seeing that example, she will often put on a genuine smile and decide to enjoy things that aren't really in her wheelhouse because she can see how much doing so makes her younger sisters, or me or her dad happy.  She has already figured out much about how to be a good friend, sister and person and I credit a lot of that to her sweet, people-pleasing personality.  She has a few key things she won't bed on because they're very important to her, but on everything else she has learned very young to be flexible.  She is loved by just about everyone around her, and whether they consciously realize it or not, that is one of the primary reasons why.  She loves to generously accommodate people to make them feel important and loved.

It doesn't do much good to accommodate people while frowning and foot-dragging;  that doesn't make them feel loved, it makes them feel like they are an imposition on you.  It is human nature to want to do what we want to do, how and when we want to do it, and there's nothing wrong with that sometimes.  But there is a great deal right in saying to ourselves, "This isn't really what I'd prefer to do right now, but I'm going to put on a smile, be pleasant and do it happily, because it makes me happy to make the people I love happy."  It does us little good to sacrifice for those we love if we are then unhappy and saying constantly, "But I sacrifice so much for you!"

That flexibility will add much happiness and smooth sailing to our relationships.  On the other hand, the sort of selfishness that creates inflexibility or mere foot-dragging complicity, while born out of a desire to please ourselves, ironically ends up making not just those we love miserable, but making ourselves miserable as well.

Loving people, and showing that love, is rarely convenient; but in the long run, it always leads to more personal satisfaction that selfishness.

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