Reading and processing this post slowly may feel highly uncomfortable to your mind.
In a world of users, people being used and general manipulation, being truly helpful is rare.
I had to look long and hard in the mirror while pondering this idea. Even though I genuinely helped people on some level for a larger part of my life I also secretly used people for my personal gain. I also was definitely used by people for their personal gain; every person reading this post has been played for a fool at one time or another, especially via family relationships.
How often did I TRULY help people?
Sitting with this question made me squirm. How often did I help people without expecting anything in return? How often did I help people without asking for or looking for anything in return?
Being honest with myself led me to do two things:
- live and let live
- be truly helpful without asking for, expecting or looking for anything in return
I trip up here and there but largely, genuinely and predominantly feel like I hold true to each intent gracing the bullet point list.
People use people because people fear facing their fears. Older or elderly parents use kids to get care because kids fear losing parents from emotions of guilt, grief and a sense of responsibility. The parents use kids because parents fear being alone. But the parent chose to have the kid; the son or daughter did not choose to have the parent. Not only that, but the son or kid made their intimately personal choices to live their life as the parent made their intimately personal choices to live their life, however they chose to live their life.
Once the son or daughter faces the fears of loss, rejection, criticism and ostracizing, the guilt dissolves and the son or daughter ceases being used. Ditto for any parent who allows a grown child to use them, out of child care entitlement and parental guilt. Note; I am referring to grown children able to physically and mentally care for themselves.
I feel grateful because my parents adopted a live and let live mentality the moment I left the house. I became free to make my own mistakes and live my dreams, well outside of any manipulation, control or guilting. But most familial relationships are heavily built on guilt, using, manipulating and controlling, sitting under an absurd facade of unconditional love.
If you want to prove my point simply observe when a child fully steps into a live and let live mindset.
In most cases, the family revolts, rejects, shames and guilts sons and daughters – and vice-versa with parents – the moment one family member decides to live and let live by not using or leaning on other family members. This point becomes particularly agitating for users the moment a son or daughter decides NOT to be used by fellow family members.
Unconditional love means: we love each other endlessly no matter what the other party thinks, says or does.
Even if you disagree with someone you simply love them boundlessly because real love has no conditions, circumstances or situations needing to line up for love to be doled out or accepted.
Anything other than unconditional love is a user relationship based on guilt, duty and other egoic concepts feeding manipulation, control and the polar opposite of being truly helpful.
Make no bones about it; I definitely had user run-ins from my family in the past from multiple sides. But my family and I have learned that unconditional love is about being truly helpful to those who could most use it, whether the people are in the immediate family or not. This is living and allowing others to live which is the foundation of love, happiness, peace and rendering blissful service.
Interesting question, I think I've been in all three positions at different points in my life. Reminds me of the concept of agape love like Jesus taught. Tough to love people unconditionally especially those who aren't even related to you, but I'd like to think I'm there with most of my family at least. Still struggle with doing things without any thoughts of reciprocity as that's an easy step towards being used, but do think that's a better lifestyle in general. Good thought exercise for this morning, hope you're having a great day Ryan!